Contact Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 3606
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, ON. N2L 3G1
+1 519 888 4567, ext.38654
Research interests: biophysical chemistry and nanotechnology; self-assembly for drug delivery applications and gene therapy
Professor Shawn Wettig obtained his Ph.D. studying the physical chemistry of novel mixed surfactant/polymer systems with Professor Ron Verrall in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests lie in the general areas of biophysical chemistry and nanotechnology; in particular at the interface of these two broadly defined areas. This research involves aspects of physical chemistry, solution thermodynamics, biochemistry and cell biology applied to the study of self-assembling systems. While self-assembly is a readily recognized tool in the design of systems for drug delivery applications, the use of self-assembly in the so-called “bottom-up” construction of nano-particulate systems for drug delivery applications is an emerging field. A key aspect of this research is the design of novel surface-active compounds (surfactants) that, in addition to providing the desired characteristics of self-assembly and control of particle dimensions on the nanometer size scale, can also provide enhanced pharmaceutical applications such as targeted delivery and/or enhanced bio-distribution of an active compound.
- Post-Doctoral Fellow, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 2004-2007
- Post-Doctoral Fellow, Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 2001 - 2004
- PhD, Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 2000
- BSc, University of Lethbridge, 1994
Research projects in the Wettig group center on the design, synthesis, characterization of novel surface active compounds (known as surfactants) for use in drug delivery applications. Background information regarding the properties of Surfactants can be found on the Overview page. The major focus of current projects is the application of novel "Gemini" surfactants to the design of delivery systems for gene therapy.
Other research interests include the design of fluorescent surfactants for use as bioprobes to study the mechanism(s) of gene therapy.
TF. Moghadam, S. Azizian, and S. Wettig “Synergistic behaviour of ZnO nanoparticle and gemini surfactants on the dynamic and equilibrium oil/water interfacial tension” Phys Chem Chem Phys, Accepted, DOI: 10.1039/C5CP00510H
CH. Sum, S. Wettig, R. Slavcev “Impact of DNA Vector Topology on Non-Viral Gene Therapeutic Safety and Efficacy” Current Gene Therapy, 4, 309-329 (2014)
CH. Sum, J. Chong, S. Wettig, R. Slavcev “Separation and Purification of Linear Covalently Closed (LCC) DNA by Q-Anion Exchange Membrane Chromatography.” Journal of Chromatography A, 1339, 214-218 (2014)
N. Nafissi, CH. Sum, S. Wettig, R. Slavcev “Optimization of a One-Step Heat-Inducible in vivo Mini DNA Vector Production System” PLoS ONE9(2): e89345. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089345 (2014)
H. Wang, T. Kaur, N. Tavakoli, J. Joseph, S. Wettig “Transfection and structural properties of phytanyl substituted gemini surfactant-based vectors for gene delivery” Phys Chem Chem Phys, 15, 20510-20516 (2013)
S. Moghadam, E. Saliaj, S. Wettig, C. Dong, M. Ivanova, JT. Huzil, M. Foldvari “Effect of Chemical Permeation Enhancers on Stratum Corneum Barrier Lipid Organizational Structure and Interferon Alpha Permeability”Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10, 2248-2260 (2013)
Kaur, T., Nafissi, N., Wasfi, O., Sheldon, K., Wettig, S., and R.A. Slavcev. “Immunocompatibility of Bacteriophages as Nanomedicines”. Journal of Nanotechnology, 5, 1-13 (2012)
M. Donkuru, S.D. Wettig, R.E. Verrall, I. Badea, and M. Foldvari; “Designing pH-sensitive gemini nanoparticles for non-viral gene delivery into keratinocytes” Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22, 6232 – 6244 (2012).
Javed Akbar, Naser Tavakoli, Gerrard Marangoni and Shawn Wettig; “Mixed aggregate formation in gemini surfactant/1,2-dialkyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine systems” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science,377, 237-243 (2012).
Tranum Kaur, Qusai Al Abdallah, Nafiseh Nafissi, Shawn Wettig, Barbara Funnell, Roderick Slavcev “ParAB-mediated intermolecular association of plasmid P1 parS Sites” Virology, 421, 192-201 (2011).
Marianna Foldvari, Ildiko Badea, Praveen Kumar, Shawn Wettig, Ravinder Batta, Martin King, Zhihong He, Emmanuel Yeboah, Kimberly Gaspar, Peter Hull, Neil Shear “Biphasic Vesicles for Topical Delivery of Interferon Alpha in Human Volunteers and Treatment of Patients with Human Papillomavirus Infections” Current Drug Delivery, 8, 307-319 (2011).
Christine Keyes-Baig, Jean Duhamel, Shawn Wettig “Characterization of the Behavior of a Pyrene Substituted Gemini Surfactant in Water by Fluorescence” Langmuir, 27, 3361-3371 (2011).
Peter Huypens, Renjitha Pillai, Tanya Sheinin, Mei Huang, Stephanie Schaefer, Matthew L. Odegaard, Sarah M. Ronnebaum, Shawn D. Wettig, Jamie W. Joseph “The dicarboxylate carrier plays a role in mitochondrial malate transport and in the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin release from pancreatic β-cells” Diabetologia, 54, 135-145 (2011).
Renjitha Pillai, Peter Huypens, Mei Huang, Stephanie Schaefer, Tanya Sheinin, Shawn D. Wettig, Jamie W. Joseph “Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator/Hypoxia-inducible Factor-1β Plays a Critical Role in Maintaining Glucose-stimulated Anaplerosis and Insulin Release from Pancreatic β-Cells” Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286, 1014-1024 (2011).
Haitang Wang and Shawn D. Wettig “Synthesis and aggregation properties of dissymmetric phytanyl-gemini surfactants for use as improved DNA transfection vectors” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13, 637 – 642 (2011).
M. Donkuru, I. Badea, S. Wettig, R. Verrall, M. Elsabahy, and M. Foldvari, “Advancing non-viral gene delivery: Lipid- and surfactant-based nanoparticle design strategies”, Nanomedicine, 5, 1103-1127 (2010).
Javed R. Akbar, Rubena Deubry, D. Gerrard Marangoni, and Shawn D. Wettig “Interactions between gemini and nonionic pharmaceutical surfactants” Can. J. Chem¸ 88, 1262-1270 (2010).
Peng Yang, Jagbir Singh, Shawn Wettig, Marianna Foldvari, Ronald E. Verrall, Ildiko Badea “Enhanced gene expression in epithelial cells transfected with amino acid-substituted gemini nanoparticles”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 75, 311–320 (2010).
I.N.A. Oguocha, R. Taheri, S. Yannacopoulos, W.A. Uju, R. Sammynaiken, S. Wettig and Y.-F. Hu “Temperature effects on the chemical composition of nickel–phosphorus alloy thin films”, Thin Solid Films, 518, 2045-2049 (2010).
M. Foldvari, I. Badea, S. Wettig, D. Baboolal, P. Kumar, A.L. Creagh, and C.A. Haynes "Topical Delivery of Interferon Alpha by Biphasic Vesicles: Evidence for a Novel Nanopathway across the Stratum Corneum" ,Molecular Pharmaceutics, 7, 751-762 (2010).
S.D. Wettig, R. Deubry, J. Akbar, T. Kaur, H. Wang, T. Sheinin, J.W. Joseph, and R.A. Slavcev "Thermodynamic Investigation of the Binding of Dissymmetric Pyrenyl-Gemini Surfactants to DNA", Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 12, 4821 – 4826 (2010).