The Nanostructure and Drug Delivery Group is focused on the use of pharmaceutical science and nanomedicine approaches to provide drug delivery solutions to challenging therapeutic molecules, and to advance new medicines in such fields as cancer chemotherapy drugs, anti-infective agents, anti-psychotics and cardiovascular drugs.

  • lightbulb Our mission minus-thin plus-thin

    The Group’s primary mission is to:

    • Engineer novel particle based biomaterials with specific biological activity and their application to solve biopharmaceutical challenges.
    • Determine mechanisms for bioactivity through advanced colloidal, interfacial and biophysical analyses
    • Develop drug delivery solutions to address unmet clinical needs
    • Deliver Challenging Therapeutic Molecules (both small molecular drugs and biologics) – For Better Medicines
    • Eradicate Bacterial Biofilms
    • Optimise Biotech and Pharmaceutical Formulation, Processing and Manufacture.
  • search Our research minus-thin plus-thin

    The Nanostructure and Drug Delivery Group’s specific  research project areas include:

    • Particle based nano-biomaterials with specific biological activity and their application to solve biopharmaceutical challenges
    • Hybrid lipid-based oral drug delivery systems – mimicking the pharmaceutical food effect
    • Nano-carriers for eradication of bacterial biofilms
    • Combination of prodrugs and nanomedicines for improved oral chemotherapy
    • Mechanisms of oral drug delivery.
  • chemistry-laboratory Adelaide Biofilm Test Facility minus-thin plus-thin

    The Adelaide Biofilm Test Facility (BTF) aims to improve the treatment and prevention of biofilm-associated diseases by providing adequate testing methods to the biomedical research community.

    The BTF is South Australia’s first test facility for antimicrobial agents, pharmaceutical preparations, dressings, materials and coatings. Headed by Dr Nicky Thomas the BTF tests materials for their ability to inhibit or remove microbial biofilms.

    What we offer

    The Adelaide Biofilm Testing Facility provides standardised biofilm models for industry, academia, and health care providers. We also offer customised solutions to meet specific requirements of our clients. Please contact Dr Nicky Thomas for further information.

    The following are examples of models that are available for testing:

    • High throughput multi-titer plate based biofilm model
    • Calgary biofilm device
    • Colony biofilm model
    • Artificial skin biofilm model
    • Flow cell biofilm model
    • Tube biofilm model
    • in vivo whole animal biofilm and toxicity model (C. elegans)

    What are biofilms?

    Bacteria can exist in two forms - either as free floating cells or as immobilised, surface-attached cells. Once bacteria have attached to a surface they rapidly colonise the surface forming a dense network of bacteria. The production of a complex matrix, or ‘slime’, protects the residing bacteria from external insults such as antibiotics, heat, and radiation.

    Where do you find biofilm?

    Biofilms are the most successful form of life on Earth, colonising both living and non-living surfaces. In the body biofilms can be found as plaque on the teeth, which needs to be physically removed by brushing teeth to prevent dental cavities. However, biofilms also colonise less accessible areas such as the nose and sinuses, wounds, lungs, catheters and implants making effective treatment significantly more challenging.

    We select biofilm models for a given application to mimic reality as close as possible to provide meaningful answers to our customers.

    Did you know that biofilms:

    • cause 80% of infectious diseases?
    • are up to 1000-fold less sensitive to antibiotics?
    • facilitate the communication between bacteria by chemical cues (“quorum sensing”)?
    • are an important contributor to antibiotic resistance thereby posing a tremendous global challenge?

     Adelaide Integrated Bioscience Laboratories


Clive Prestidge
Professor, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
HB6-16, City West Campus
Kristen Bremmell
Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
HB6-18, City West Campus
Tim Barnes
Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics/Pharmaceutical Sciences, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
HB6-18, City West Campus
Paul Joyce
Research Fellow, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
HB6-18, City West Campus
Thao Nguyen
Demonstrator, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences


Nicky Thomas
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
P1-18, City East Campus
Desmond Williams
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
HB6-18, City West Campus

HDR students

  • Santhi Subramaniam
  • Tahlia Meola
  • Anthony Wignall
  • Muhammend Awad
  • Shaun Cade
  • Ruba Almasri
  • Aurelia Sophia Elz


  • Leah Wright
  • Mina Al-Hawwas
  • Mitra Hosseini-Kharat
  • Yukta Hegishte
  • Isabella Revesz
  • Stephanie Stodulka
  • Amin Ariaee