Dr Philipp Seib


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement


Our research mission can be divided into bottom up, curiosity-driven fundamental research and top-down, challenge-based activities: the common thread to these activities are biomaterials, especially silk. Current research in the Seib lab spans the nano- to macro scale in the examination of silk for use in drug and cell delivery. 

Personal lab webpage is at:



Silk-based drug delivery systems

We have a particular interest in exploring the use of silk for drug and cell delivery applications. Silk is an approved biopolymer for use in humans and has remarkable physical properties (e.g. it is tougher than any manmade fibre). Silk, a common suture material, has long been recognised for its biocompatibility and biodegradability. We are using it as a scaffold for tissue engineering and as a biopolymer for drug and cell delivery. Silk can be processed under mild aqueous conditions to generate several biomedically useful formats, including self-assembling silk hydrogels, nanoparticles, films and scaffolds.


Advanced drug delivery systems: the cellular response

We study the cellular response of drug delivery systems, including nanomedicines. Nanomedicines are specifically engineered, multiple-component, nanosized drugs and drug delivery systems whose use is emerging as a promising approach for treating many diseases, including cancer. The drug payloads of nanomedicines can differ widely, but the effectiveness of any nanomedicine relies on its ability to reach the tumour microenvironment. In addition, the nanomedicine often must deliver its drug payload to a specific internal cell compartment in order to yield the desired therapeutic effect. One of the bottlenecks for the translation of nanomedicines into clinical practice is the lack of suitable model systems for monitoring the cellular fate of nanomedicines, both in vitro and in vivo. Our laboratory focuses on the development of a repertoire of technologies for studying the cellular responses of nanomedicines. Our interests span the range from intracellular trafficking to application-oriented biocompatibility testing.


Engineering cellular microenvironments for stem and cancer cells

Our in vitro research focuses on overcoming the issues that arise when stem cells are studied in a highly artificial context that ignores their native microenvironment. The typical in vitro cell culture environment strips cells of most of the contextual signals and physical cues that arise from accessory cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) found in intact tissues (e.g. tumours). The standard culture substrate for cells is treated polystyrene, which not only fails to mimic the complexity of the actual cell microenvironment, but also generates an artificial two-dimensional cell layer. We are developing a number of culture systems that better reflect the cellular microenvironments that occur in healthy and diseased tissues, including the three-dimensional space that stem cells normally occupy in a tissue.

We have recently extended the concept of an engineered stem cell microenvironment to three-dimensional scaffolds that are implanted in vivo and can serve as “traps” for circulating tumour cells. An emerging paradigm is that the stem cell niche can be hijacked by circulating tumour cells during the process of cancer metastasis. We are exploiting this feature to engineer artificial in vivo stem cell niches that selectively lure and trap cancer cells within the scaffold. The outcome of these studies will be unique new strategies for cancer therapy.




Silk bioconjugates : from concept to application
Matthew Saphia A L, Seib F Philipp
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering (2023)
Erratum : Mixing and flow-induced nanoprecipitation for morphology control of silk fibroin self-assembly
Matthew Saphia A L, Rezwan Refaya, Kaewchuchuen Jirada, Perrie Yvonne, Seib F Philipp
RSC Advances Vol 12, pp. 25006-25009 (2022)
Smart silk origami as eco-sensors for environmental pollution
Matthew Saphia A L, Egan Gemma, Witte Kimia, Kaewchuchuen Jirada, Phuagkhaopong Suttinee, Totten John D, Seib F Philipp
ACS Applied Bio Materials Vol 5, pp. 3658-3666 (2022)
Volumetric scalability of microfluidic and semi-batch silk nanoprecipitation methods
Matthew Saphia A L, Rezwan Refaya, Perrie Yvonne, Seib F Philipp
Molecules Vol 27 (2022)
Impact of silk hydrogel secondary structure on hydrogel formation, silk leaching and in vitro response
Egan Gemma, Phuagkhaopong Suttinee, Matthew Saphia A L, Connolly Patricia, Seib F Philipp
Scientific Reports Vol 12 (2022)
Mixing and flow-induced nanoprecipitation for morphology control of silk fibroin self-assembly
Matthew Saphia A L, Rezwan Refaya, Kaewchuchuen Jirada, Perrie Yvonne, Seib F Philipp
RSC Advances Vol 12, pp. 7357-7373 (2022)

More publications

Professional activities

Bioengineering (Journal)
Guest editor
ACS Nano (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Biomaterials and Biosystems (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Matter (Journal)
Peer reviewer
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering (Journal)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


Establishing cerebral organoids as a human model of stroke
Carswell, Hilary (Principal Investigator) Bushell, Trevor (Co-investigator) McMullen, Calum (Co-investigator) Seib, Philipp (Co-investigator)
04-Jan-2023 - 03-Jan-2025
Multiscale Metrology Suite for Next-generation Healthcare Technologies (EPSRC Strategic Equipment)
Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator) Bruns, Nico (Co-investigator) Faulds, Karen (Co-investigator) Graham, Duncan (Co-investigator) Halbert, Gavin (Co-investigator) Hoskins, Clare (Co-investigator) McArthur, Stephen (Co-investigator) Perrie, Yvonne (Co-investigator) Reid, Stuart (Co-investigator) Seib, Philipp (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2024
Biocompatible silk hydrogels as tunable stem cell constructs for the treatment of stroke. (skype)
Carswell, Hilary (Principal Investigator) Seib, Philipp (Co-investigator) Khadra, Ibrahim (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2023
Engineered substrates for the isolation and expansion of mesenchymal stem cells
Seib, Philipp (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 05-Jan-2023
Microfluidic-assisted manufacture of self-assembling silk nanoparticles
Seib, Philipp (Principal Investigator) Perrie, Yvonne (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Power Networks and Smart Grids | Egan, Gemma
Connolly, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Seib, Philipp (Co-investigator) Egan, Gemma (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2022

More projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Robertson Wing

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