The Hoare lab works at the interface of polymer science, physical chemistry, and biology, aiming to design novel materials with “smart” properties precisely tuned to the environment and application in which the material is to be used. Our main expertise lies in the rational design of “smart” hydrogel-based materials on different length scales (i.e. bulk hydrogels, microgels, and nanogels) based on a fundamental understanding of the structure-property relationships in such materials. To achieve this understanding, we apply both the analytical tools of physical chemistry and the mathematical modeling tools of chemical engineering to predict microstructures prior to synthesis and then characterize (and optimize) the realized microstructures for specific applications. While most of our target applications lie within biomedical engineering (drug delivery, cell encapsulation, biomedical devices, biosensors, and tissue engineering), we also apply our engineered hydrogels in food, nutraceutical, agricultural, and environmental applications.
Todd Hoare is the Canada Research Chair in Engineered Smart Materials and a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University as well as the Director of the NSERC CREATE Training Program for Controlled Release Leaders (ContRoL). Dr. Hoare’s work on “smart” environmentally-responsive hydrogels, in situ-gelling/printable hydrogel materials, and nanoscale drug delivery vehicles has been profiled by Popular Science, Maclean’s, and BBC for its potential in solving clinical challenges through innovative materials design. He is a Fellow of the International Union of Societies in Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUS-BSE), was awarded an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2018), has been cited as part of the 2018 Class of Influential Researchers by Industrial Engineering & Chemistry Research, and has received the 2016 Early Career Investigator Award from the Canadian Biomaterials Society and the 2009 John Charles Polanyi Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his research. Dr. Hoare is a past-president of the Canadian Biomaterials Society (2016-2017) and the Canadian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society (2013-2015), and is currently the Chair of the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada. He also serves as an Executive-Editor of Chemical Engineering Journal (where he leads the applied polymers and biomaterials section) and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Biomacromolecules.