Jianjun Cheng

Jianjun Cheng
(217) 244-3924
312E Materials Science & Eng Bld
(217) 244-3924
312E Materials Science & Eng Bld

Research Topics

  • Bio-Micro and Nanotechnology

For more information

Research Topics

  • Bio-Micro and Nanotechnology

Research Statement

Functional Polymers, Biomaterials, Nanomedicine

Our research is focused on design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of functional polymers and biomaterials.  A broad scope of multidisciplinary areas is covered in our research, including materials science, organic and polymer chemistry, bioengineering and pharmaceutical science. We are interested in and working on the following specific research projects:

  1. Nanomedicines for improved cancer therapy, drug and gene delivery
  2. Cancer targeting with small molecules or nanomaterials.
  3. Polypeptide design, synthesis and applications; cell-penetrating peptides 
  4. Functional and responsive polymers, such as self-healing, shape memory, degradation.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Ying, H.; Zhang, Y.; Cheng, J.; "Dynamic urea bond for the design of reversible and self-healing polymers", Nature Communications, 5, 3218 (2014).
  • Yin, Q.; Yap, F.Y.; Yin, L.; Ma, L.; Zhou, Q.; Dobrucki, L.W.; Fan, T.M.; Gaba, R.C.; Cheng, J. "Poly(iohexol) Nanoparticles As Constrast Agents for In Vivo X-ray Computed Tomography Imaging", Journal of American Chemical Society, 135, 13620-13623 (2013).
  • Tang, H.; Yin, L.; Kim, K.H.; Cheng, J. "Helical Poly(arginine) Mimics with Superior Cell-Penetrating and Molecular Transporting Properties", Chemical Science, 4, 3839-3844 (2013).
  • Yin, L.; Tang, H.; Kim, K.H.; Zheng, N.; Song, Z.; Gabrielson, NP.; Lu, H.; Cheng, J.* "Trigger-Responsive Helical Polypeptides Capable of Toxicity Reduction and DNA Unpacking toward Non-Viral Gene Delivery", Angew Chem. Int. Ed., 52, 9182-9186 (2013).
  • Wang, J.; Xia, H.; Zhang, Y.; Lu, H.; Kamat, R.; Dobrynin, A.V.; Cheng, J.; Lin, Y. "Nucleation-Controlled Polymerization of Nanoparticles into Supramolecular Structures", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135, 11417-11420 (2013).
  • Zhang, Y.; Yin, Q.; Yin, L.; Ma, L.; Tang, L.; Cheng, J. "Chain-Shattering Polymeric Therapeutics with On-Demand Drug-Release Capability", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 52, 6435-6439 (2013).
  • Yin, L.; Song, Z.; Qu, Q.; Kim, KH; Zheng, N.; Yao, C.; Chaudhury, I.; Tang, H.; Gabrielson, NP; Uckun, FM; Cheng, J. “Supramolecular self-assembled nanoparticles mediate oral delivery of therapeutic TNF-α siRNA against systemic inflammation ", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed, 52, 5757-5761 (2013).
  • Tang, L.; Yang, X.; Dobrucki, LW; Chaudhury, I.; Yin, Q.; Yao, C.; Lezmi, S.; Helferich, WG* Fan, TM;* Cheng, J.* "Aptamer-functionalized, ultra-small, monodisperse silica nanoconjugate for targeted dual-modal imaging of lymph nodes with metastatic tumors", Angew Chem. Int. Ed., 124, 12893–12898 (2012).
  • Gabrielson, N. P.; Lu, H.; Kim, KH, Cheng, J.* "A Cell-Penetrating Helical Polymer for siRNA Delivery to Mammalian Cells", Molecular Therapy, 20, 1599-1609 (2012).
  • Gabrielson, N.; Lu, H.; Li, D.; Wang, F.; Cheng, J.;* "Reactive and Bioactive Cationic g-Helical Polypeptide Template for Non-Viral Gene Delivery", Angew Chem. Int. Ed., 51, 1143-1147 (2012)
  • Wang, J.; Lu, H.; Kamat, R.; Pingali, S. V.; Urban, V. S.; Cheng, J.*; Lin, Y.* “Supramolecular Polymerization from Polypeptide-Grafted Comb Polymers”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 133, 12906-12909 (2011)
  • Lu, H.; Wang, J.; Bai, Y.; Lang, J.; Liu, S.; Lin, Y. and Cheng, J.*, "Ionic polypeptides with unusual helical stability," Nature Communications 2, 206 (2011).
  • Lu, H., Wang, J., Lin, Y. and Cheng, J., “One-pot synthesis of brush-like polymers via integrated ring-opening metathesis polymerization and polymerization of amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides,” Journal of American Chemical Society 131, 13582-3 (2009).
  • Tong, R. and Cheng, J., “Ring-opening polymerization mediated-controlled formulation of polylactide nanoparticles,” Journal of American Chemical Society 131, 4744-4754 (2009).
  • Lu, H. and Cheng, J., “Controlled ring-opening polymerization of amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides and facile end group functionalization of polypeptides,” Journal of American Chemical Society 130, 12562-12563 (2008).
  • Tong, R. and Cheng, J., “Paclitaxel-initiated, controlled polymerization of lactide for the formulation of polymeric nanoparticulate delivery vehicles,” Angewandte Chemie International Edition 47, 4830-4834 (2008).
  • Lu, H. and Cheng, J., “Hexamethyldisilazane-mediated controlled polymerization of α-amino acid-N-carboxyanhydrides,” Journal of American Chemical Society 129, 14114-14115 (2007).


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1102 Everitt Lab MC 278
1406 W. Green St
Urbana, IL 61801, USA

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