Dr Philipp Seib

Senior Lecturer

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.




Unraveling the impact of high-order silk structures on molecular drug binding and release behaviors
Wongpinyochit Thidarat, Vassileiou Antony D, Gupta Sukriti, Mushrif Samir H, Johnston Blair F, Seib F Philipp
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters Vol 10, pp. 4278-4284 (2019)
Nanomedicines for the delivery of biologics
Wahlich John, Desai Arpan, Greco Francesca, Hill Kathryn, Jones Arwyn T, Mrsny Randy, Pasut Gianfranco, Perrie Yvonne, Seib F Philipp, Seymour Leonard W, Uchegbu Ijeoma F
Pharmaceutics Vol 11 (2019)
PEGylation-dependent metabolic rewiring of macrophages with silk fibroin nanoparticles
Totten John D, Wongpinyochit Thidarat, Carrola Joana, Duarte Iola F, Seib F Philipp
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces Vol 11, pp. 14515-14525 (2019)
Microfluidic-assisted silk nanoparticle tuning
Wongpinyochit Thidarat, Totten John D, Johnston Blair F, Seib F Philipp
Nanoscale Advances Vol 1, pp. 873-883 (2019)
The biomedical use of silk : past, present, future
Holland Chris, Numata Keiji, Rnjak-Kovacina Jelena, Seib F Philipp
Advanced Healthcare Materials Vol 8 (2019)
A review of the emerging role of silk for the treatment of the eye
Tran Simon H, Wilson Clive G, Seib F Philipp
Pharmaceutical Research Vol 35 (2018)

more publications

Professional activities

Advanced Science (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Biomaterials (Journal)
Peer reviewer
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Scientific Reports (Journal)
Peer reviewer
MRC Grant review
ACS Applied Bio Materials (Journal)
Peer reviewer

more professional activities


Microfluidic-assisted manufacture of self-assembling silk nanoparticles
Seib, Philipp (Principal Investigator) Perrie, Yvonne (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2023
Nanomedicine-protein interactions: Understanding protein corona composition effects on nanomedicine cellular uptake
Rattray, Zahra (Principal Investigator) Seib, Philipp (Academic)
From bench to clinic, a new drug candidate will face multiple roadblocks and challenges in its development. In oncology drug development, a balance has to be met between achieving tumour bioavailability and potential off-target organ toxicity- Nanomedicines have emerged as a promising solution to overcoming such challenges.
When administered intravenously, a nanomedicine will be exposed to various biomolecules in blood. Some of these molecules will adsorb onto the nanomedicine surface, forming a ‘corona’, altering its chemical identity and biological fate. Corona composition is unique to nanomedicine type and characteristics, and has been linked to the success of tumour drug delivery.
We are looking for applicants to join our exciting project that will seek to understand nanomedicine characteristics that are key to impacting the biological fate of nanoparticles using a systematic approach. The successful candidate will apply cutting-edge technologies for characterizing nanomedicine characteristics, study protein corona composition in biological media, impact on subsequent cellular uptake, and develop novel biochemical assays that will aid the prediction of nanomedicine biological fate. This PhD project will be highly-suited to candidates from a pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, or engineering background who are keen to develop skills in analytical chemistry, molecular biology and cell culture.
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2023
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Devices and Health Technologies | Egan, Gemma
Connolly, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Seib, Philipp (Co-investigator) Egan, Gemma (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2021
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-2021
Self-assembling silk hydrogels
Seib, Philipp (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2020
Engineered culture surfaces for the isolation and expansion of bone fide mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)
Seib, Philipp (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 28-Jan-2018

more projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Robertson Wing

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