School of Physics and Astronomy

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Dr Zhan Yuin Ong

Molecular and Nanoscale Physics Group

Contact details

Room: 8.50c
Tel: +44 (0)113 3430051
Email: @


Drug/gene/peptide/protein delivery
Inorganic nanomaterials
Antimicrobial peptide

Research interests

My research focuses on the design and development of well-defined and biocompatible nanomaterials for healthcare applications. By adopting a highly interdisciplinary approach, combining aspects of physics, engineering, chemistry, biology, and medicine, we hope to formulate nanoparticle-mediated solutions to address unmet needs in medicine based on a set of design criteria. To this end, the laboratory is developing novel strategies to obtain well-characterised multifunctional inorganic nanoparticles (Au, Ag, ZnO, mSiO2) and inorganic-organic hybrid nanomaterials, and evaluating their safety and efficacy for targeted drug delivery and photothermal therapy in cancer, and overcoming antimicrobial resistance.


Ong ZY, Yang C, Cheng W, Voo ZX, Chin W, Hedrick JL, Yang YY Biodegradable cationic poly(carbonates): effect of varying side chain hydrophobicity on key aspects of gene transfection Acta Biomaterialia 54 201-211, 2017
View abstract

Zhong G, Cheng J, Liang ZC, Xu L, Lou W, Bao C, Ong ZY, Dong H, Yang YY, Fan W Short Syntheticβ-Sheet Antimicrobial Peptides for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Burn Wound Infections Advanced Healthcare Materials 6 -, 2017
View abstract

Wu H, Liu S, Wiradharma N, Ong ZY, Li Y, Yang YY, Ying JY Short Syntheticα-Helical-Forming Peptide Amphiphiles for Fungal Keratitis Treatment In Vivo. Advanced healthcare materials 6 -, 2017
View abstract

Bossion A, Jones GO, Taton D, Mecerreyes D, Hedrick JL, Ong ZY, Yang YY, Sardon H Non-Isocyanate Polyurethane Soft Nanoparticles Obtained by Surfactant-Assisted Interfacial Polymerization Langmuir 33 1959-1968, 2017

Ong ZY, Coady DJ, Tan JPK, Li Y, Chan JMW, Yang YY, Hedrick JL Design and Synthesis of Biodegradable Grafted Cationic Polycarbonates as Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Agents JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE PART A-POLYMER CHEMISTRY 54 1029-1035, 2016

Wu H, Ong ZY, Liu S, Li Y, Wiradharma N, Yang YY, Ying JY Synthetic beta-sheet forming peptide amphiphiles for treatment of fungal keratitis BIOMATERIALS 43 44-49, 2015

Ong ZY, Wiradharma N, Yang YY Strategies employed in the design and optimization of synthetic antimicrobial peptide amphiphiles with enhanced therapeutic potentials ADVANCED DRUG DELIVERY REVIEWS 78 28-45, 2014

Liu SQ, Venkataraman S, Ong ZY, Chan JMW, Yang C, Hedrick JL, Yang YY Overcoming Multidrug Resistance in Microbials Using Nanostructures Self-Assembled from Cationic Bent-Core Oligomers SMALL 10 4130-4135, 2014

Coady DJ, Ong ZY, Lee PS, Venkataraman S, Chin W, Engler AC, Yang YY, Hedrick JL Enhancement of Cationic Antimicrobial Materials via Cholesterol Incorporation ADVANCED HEALTHCARE MATERIALS 3 882-889, 2014

Coady DJ, Engler AC, Hedrick JL, Tan JPK, Ong ZY, Yang YY Application of polycarbonates in nanomedicine, 2014

Ong ZY, Cheng J, Huang Y, Xu K, Ji Z, Fan W, Yang YY Effect of stereochemistry, chain length and sequence pattern on antimicrobial properties of short synthetic beta-sheet forming peptide amphiphiles BIOMATERIALS 35 1315-1325, 2014

Engler AC, Tan JPK, Ong ZY, Coady DJ, Ng VWL, Yang YY, Hedrick JL Antimicrobial Polycarbonates: Investigating the Impact of Balancing Charge and Hydrophobicity Using a Same-Centered Polymer Approach BIOMACROMOLECULES 14 4331-4339, 2013

Ong ZY, Yang C, Gao SJ, Ke X-Y, Hedrick JL, Yang YY Galactose-Functionalized Cationic Polycarbonate Diblock Copolymer for Targeted Gene Delivery to Hepatocytes MACROMOLECULAR RAPID COMMUNICATIONS 34 1714-1720, 2013

Ong ZY, Gao SJ, Yang YY Short Synthetic beta-Sheet Forming Peptide Amphiphiles as Broad Spectrum Antimicrobials with Antibiofilm and Endotoxin Neutralizing Capabilities ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS 23 3682-3692, 2013

Coady DJ, Ong ZY, Engler AC, Yang YY, Hedrick JL Using cholesterol for improving antimicrobial behavior of cationic polymers, 2013

Wiradharma N, Sng MYS, Khan M, Ong Z-Y, Yang Y-Y Rationally Designed alpha-Helical Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Peptides with Idealized Facial Amphiphilicity MACROMOLECULAR RAPID COMMUNICATIONS 34 74-80, 2013

Khan M, Ong ZY, Wiradharma N, Attia ABE, Yang Y-Y Advanced Materials for Co-Delivery of Drugs and Genes in Cancer Therapy ADVANCED HEALTHCARE MATERIALS 1 373-392, 2012

Engler AC, Wiradharma N, Ong ZY, Coady DJ, Hedrick JL, Yang Y-Y Emerging trends in macromolecular antimicrobials to fight multi-drug-resistant infections NANO TODAY 7 201-222, 2012

Qiao Y, Yang C, Coady DJ, Ong ZY, Hedrick JL, Yang Y-Y Highly dynamic biodegradable micelles capable of lysing Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial membrane BIOMATERIALS 33 1146-1153, 2012

Yang C, Ong ZY, Yang Y-Y, Ee PLR, Hedrick JL Novel Biodegradable Block Copolymers of Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and Cationic Polycarbonate: Effects of PEG Configuration on Gene Delivery MACROMOLECULAR RAPID COMMUNICATIONS 32 1826-1833, 2011

Venkataraman S, Hedrick JL, Ong ZY, Yang C, Ee PLR, Hammond PT, Yang YY The effects of polymeric nanostructure shape on drug delivery ADVANCED DRUG DELIVERY REVIEWS 63 1228-1246, 2011

Attia ABE, Ong ZY, Hedrick JL, Lee PP, Ee PLR, Hammond PT, Yang Y-Y Mixed micelles self-assembled from block copolymers for drug delivery CURRENT OPINION IN COLLOID&INTERFACE SCIENCE 16 182-194, 2011

Ong ZY, Fukushima K, Coady DJ, Yang Y-Y, Ee PLR, Hedrick JL Rational design of biodegradable cationic polycarbonates for gene delivery JOURNAL OF CONTROLLED RELEASE 152 120-126, 2011

Venkataraman S, Ong WL, Ong ZY, Loo SCJ, Ee PLR, Yang YY The role of PEG architecture and molecular weight in the gene transfection performance of PEGylated poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) based cationic polymers BIOMATERIALS 32 2369-2378, 2011

Leow P-C, Tian Q, Ong Z-Y, Yang Z, Ee P-LR Antitumor activity of natural compounds, curcumin and PKF118-310, as Wnt/beta-catenin antagonists against human osteosarcoma cells INVESTIGATIONAL NEW DRUGS 28 766-782, 2010

Li L, Wang H, Ong ZY, Xu K, Ee PLR, Zheng S, Hedrick JL, Yang Y-Y Polymer- and lipid-based nanoparticle therapeutics for the treatment of liver diseases NANO TODAY 5 296-312, 2010

Leow P, Ong Z, Ee P-L Natural Compounds as Antagonists of Canonical Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Current Chemical Biology 4 49-63, 2010

Beh CW, Seow WY, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Ong ZY, Ee PLR, Yang Y-Y Efficient Delivery of Bcl-2-Targeted siRNA Using Cationic Polymer Nanoparticles: Downregulating mRNA Expression Level and Sensitizing Cancer Cells to Anticancer Drug BIOMACROMOLECULES 10 41-48, 2009

Gapter LA, Yuln OZ, Ng K-Y S-allylcysteine reduces breast tumor cell adhesion and invasion BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 367 446-451, 2008