Tony J. Wigglesworth


NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow


HCI G-314


+41-44-632 2636


Tony Wigglesworth



B. Sc. in Chemistry, Okanagan University College, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.


Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada with Prof. Neil R. Branda.
Thesis: “Photoresponsive Materials Based on Dithienylethenes.”

since 2006:

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. François Diederich at the ETH Zurich.

Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as Novel Vectors for Gene Transfection

The success of gene therapy demands the development of safe vectors for transporting DNA to diseased cells. Viral systems, which are very efficient gene transfer agents, are plagued by safety concerns and consequently the design of non-viral delivery systems is of intense current interest. The key requirements for effective gene transport using non-viral vectors are 1) biocompatibility, 2) charge or receptor mediated uptake, 3) endosomal escape and 4) tissue specific targeting. Current state-of-the-art technology based on small molecule amphiphiles, dendrimers and block copolymers fails to satisfy all of these requirements. The Diederich group has recently published a novel delivery platform for use in gene therapy based on self-assembling amphiphilic dendrimers. My conception is to utilize block copolymer technology for gene delivery. Block copolymers, built from a diverse set of building blocks, can be programmed to fold into three-dimensional structures that are effective for gene transport. In particular, block copolymers prepared from polyethylene glycol (PEG) and cationic polyamine chains self-assemble into micelle particles in the presence of DNA and represent an important class of molecules for gene therapy.


T. J. Wigglesworth, N. R. Branda., Chem. Mater. 2005, 17, 5473-5480. Multi-Addressable, Multi-Colored Photoresponsive Copolymers Prepared by Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization.

T. J. Wigglesworth, D. Sud, T. B. Norsten, V. S. Lekhi, N. R. Branda, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 7272-7273. Chiral Discrimination in Photochromic Helicenes.

T. J. Wigglesworth, A. J. Myles, N. R. Branda, Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2005, 1233-1238. High-Content Photochromic Polymers Based on Dithienylethenes.

T. J. Wigglesworth, N. R. Branda, Adv. Mater. 2004, 16123-125. Ultra-High-Density Photochromic Main-Chain 1,2-Dithienylcyclopentene Polymers Prepared Using Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization.

A. J. Myles, T. J. Wigglesworth, N. R. Branda, Adv. Mater. 2003, 15745-748. A Multi-Addressable Photochromic 1,2-Dithienylcyclopentene-Phenoxynaphthacenequinone Hybrid.

N. Eggers, S. Kenefick, T. Wigglesworth, B. Girard, Am. J. Enol Vitic 2003, 5492-98. Evaluation of Closed-Loop Stripping for the Isolation of Wine Aroma Compounds from Aqueous Solution.


A. Peters, A. J. Wigglesworth, N. R. Branda, PCT patent No. WO 2004/015024 filed 11.08.03. Photochromic and Electrochromic Compounds and Methods of Synthesizing and Using Same” PCT patent No. WO 2004/015024 filed 11.08.03.

Last update: Oct. 2006