Professor James Tang

Professor in Pharmaceutics

Email address: number: 01902 322080Location: MA135aFaculty: Faculty of Science and EngineeringSchool/Institute: School of PharmacyAreas of expertise:

James has experience in the following expertise areas:

1)      Targeted drug delivery

2)      Drug Formulation

3)      Particulate Delivery Systems

4)      Nanotechnology

5)      Pharmaceutical materials

6)      Separation and extraction

7)      Pharmaceutical analysis

8)      Biomaterials and tissue regeneration


James officially joined the University of Wolverhampton in September 2008 from Keele University, where he held the position of Senior Ranking Research Fellow in a multi-million Euros adventure consortium with German, Dutch, and UK partners under the support of SIXTH FRAMWORK PROGRAMME: New and emerging science and technologies (NEST)- FP6-NEST-2006-INTEFRATING Grant agreement number: 28861.

James has over 25 years experience in higher education and 4 years in a R&D institution. James has established excellent connections and a rich history of successful activities involving external academic institutions, healthcare service, and industrial/commercial organisations. In 1998, James became Project Manager in Polymer Processing Group at Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, dealing with surface adhesion related industrial projects resulting one patent. James received annual achievement award in 2000 and initiated a pioneer program of 3D printing with Singapore University Hospital and Private Company in 2001. When James was at UK Centre for Tissue Engineering, a 10 million Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRcol) between University of Liverpool and University of Manchester under the support of the Research Councils (BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC), James was invited on behalf of UK Centre for Tissue Engineering giving a short course on Nanoscience and Tissue Engineering, in iNanoSchool, Autumn School 2005, at Fuglsøcentret, University of Aarhus, Denmark, in 2005. Being a specialist in biomaterials, James initiated a FP7 Marie Curie IRSES exchange programme of Hyanji Scaffold at Keele University in 2008, participating in the programme as an honorary senior lecturer since 2009. In 2011, James initiated another Marie Curie FP7 IRSES exchange programme of Heptag Exchange at the University of Wolverhampton and then first FP7 Marie Curie Incoming Fellowship with colleague in 2013. James was appointed Professor in Pharmaceutics in 2014. Under James’ directorship, Cancer Targeted Delivery Initiative was formed in 2012, joint Nanomedicine program with Keele University was activated in 2016, and global 3D Printing and its formulation network was set in 2018.

James was board director of Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Great Britain from 2010 to 2014. James is also a Guest Professor at Sichuan University, China Since 2008; Editorial Board for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letter, USA from 2008 to 2012; an honorary senior lecturer at Keele University, UK since 2009; Expert Evaluator for Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action-RISE since 2014; and Guest Editor for Materials Special Issue: Materials for Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Considerations in 2016~17.

James is author and co-author of over 80 publications and 3 book chapters, filed 6 patents, and delivered over 13 presentations nationally and internationally.

Research interests

James’s research interests are in the areas but not limited to the areas of:

1)      Targeted drug delivery

Passive and active targeting approaches individually and/or combination are attempted, passive targeting aiming at particle size and pH control through vehicle design and characterisation and active targeting aiming at ligand identification and conjugation. Collaboration with oncologist for specific cancer studies involving in-vitro cancer cell and in-vivo animal models. Sampler publications can be found on Heptag Exchange website:

2)      Drug Formulation

Formulation including drug and nutrients formulation is the area of consideration. Co-crystallisation is one of the approaches for improving compressibility of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) such as paracetamol. Formulation of 3D Printable materials is another area for further exploitation.

3)      Particulate Delivery Systems

Particulate delivery systems not only include wet and dry granulation but also consider micro- and nano- size carriers like solid polymer particles through emulsion method and micellar vehicles through self-assembly of macromolecules. The research activities will be process oriented for micro particulates systems and/or materials enhanced process optimisation for nanoparticles systems.

4)      Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology for cancer diagnosis and treatment is one of the main considerations. Amphiphilic block polymer or dendrimer are prepared and self-assembled nanoparticles are formed for passive and pH controlled targeted delivery of Doxorubicin.  Sampler publications can be found on Heptag Exchange website:

Magnetic nanoparticles are the area for further exploitation for medical and other considerations.

5)      Biomaterials and tissue regeneration

Scaffold materials for tissue regeneration are one of the areas in consideration. The research activities will focus on biocompatibility of the materials, capacity for tissue regeneration, and biological and mechanical functions of the constructs as well. Polyester encapsulated growth factor is embedded in collagen gel matrix to achieve sustained release of growth factor stimulating sustained cell and tissue regeneration. Sampler publications can be found on Hyanji Scaffold website:

6)   Pharmaceutical materials

Pharmaceutical materials from natural and man-made resources are considered and evaluated. Hybrid materials are synthesized through grafting for targeted delivery purpose. Materials design and selection will aim to facilitate formulation and form particulate delivery systems.

7)   Separation and extraction

Nanomaterials and nanotechnology are incorporated in separation and extraction of active pharmaceutical ingredients in herb resources. The research activities will focus on exploitation of the potential of the novel extraction systems.

8)   Pharmaceutical analysis

Analytical methods and protocols are set up for quality control purpose. Regulatory considerations are also introduced for quality assurance requirements

Membership of professional bodies

Member in the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Great Britain (APSGB)

Active member in International Society of Biomaterials

Fellow of the HEA (High Education Academy) in the UK

Member in Regional Society for Biomedical Engineering, Singapore

Member in Regional Society for Biomedical Engineering, China 

Editor for special Issue in Materials, the Journal and the title of the special issue "Materials for Drug Delivery and Biomedical Consideration",


Selected journal publications:


  • Mohamed WaliAR, Rowther FB, He Y, Warr T, Gu Z, Tang JZ (2019) Novel based polymeric dendron nanocarrier for the delivery of Doxorubicin in Brain tumour, Eur J Pharm Biopharm in preparation (Impact Factor245)(Q1)
  • Yue D, Cai X Tang JZ, Jiang Q, Gu Z (2019) Highly efficient delivery of VEGF siRNA and photosensitive drug by bioreducible peptide dendrimers for enhanced synergistic therapy, Angewandte Chemie in preparation (Impact Factor994) (Q1)
  • He Y, Liu Y, Sun Z, Han F, Tang JZ, Gao R, Wang G (2019) The proper strategy to compress and protect plasmid DNA in the Pluronic L64-electropulse system for enhanced intramuscular gene delivery, Regenerative Biomaterials, 2019, 6(2): 1–10 doi: 10.1093/rb/rby028
  • Liu J, Yu C, Lu G, Tang JZ, Wang Y, Zhang B, Sun Y, Lin H, Wang Q, Liang J, Fan Y, Zhang X (2018) Bionic cartilage acellular matrix microspheres as scaffold for engineering cartilage, J Mater Chem B, DOI: 10.1039/C8TB02999G (IF:776 ) (Q1)
  • Dai Y; Ma X; Zhang Y; Chen K; Tang J Z; Xu Z; Gong Q; Luo K (2018) A biocompatible and cathepsin B sensitive nanoscale system of dendritic polyHPMA-gemcitabine prodrug enhances antitumor activity markedly, Biomaterials Science 6:2976-2986, DOI: 10.1039/C8BM00946E (IF:78 ) (Q1)
  • Zhou J, Mohamed Wali AR, Ma S, He Y, Yue D, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2018) Tailoring the supramolecular structure of guanidinylated pullulan toward enhanced genetic photodynamic therapy, Biomacromolecules, 2018 Apr 30. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.8b00273 (Impact Factor. 5.246) (Q1)
  • Dai Y; Ma X; Zhang Y; Chen K; Tang J Z; Xu Z; Gong Q; Luo K (2018) Enzyme-responsive and biocompatible dendritic polyHPMA-Gemcitabine prodrug markedly enhances the antitumor activity against breast cancer therapy, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Manuscript ID: am-2018-07036s, submitted on Mon 30/04/2018 11:07(Impact Factor.7.504) (Q1)
  • Liu J, Yu C, Lu G, Tang JZ, Wang Y, Tang JZ, Zhang B, Sun Y, Lin H, Wang Q, Liang J, Fan Y, Zhang X (2018) Bionic cartilage acellular matrix microsphere: an alternative source of decellularized isogenic ECM scaffold for engineering cartilage, Adv Mater, submitted for consideration on the 26 Jan 2018 (Manuscript ID: adfm.201800667) (Impact Factor 19.791) (Q1) working for resubmission
  • Zhou S, Wu X, Huang Y, Xie X, Lin Y, Fan H, Luo L, Zhang W,. Tang JZ  (2018) Microwave-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction of alkaloids from Radix Sophorae Tonkinensis with ethanol/Na2HPO4 system: process optimization, composition identification and quantification analysis, Industrial Crops and Products, accepted for publication on the 2nd June 2018 (Impact Factor 4.03) (Q1)
  •  Mohamed WaliAR, Rowther FB, He Y, Britland S, Warr T, Gu Z,Tang JZ (2018) Novel based polymeric dendron nanocarrier for the delivery of Doxorubicin in Brain tumour, Eur J Pharm Biopharm in preparation (Impact Factor 4.245)(Q1)
  • Yue D, Cai X Tang JZ, Jiang Q, Gu Z (2018) Highly efficient delivery of VEGF siRNA and photosensitive drug by bioreducible peptide dendrimers for enhanced synergistic therapy, Angewandte Chemie in preparation (Impact Factor 11.994) (Q1)
  • Zhang W, She X, Wang L, Fan H, Zhou Q, Huang X, Tang JZ (2017) Preparation, Characterization and Application of a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer for Selective Recognition of Sulpiride. Materials 10(5): 475 (17 pages). doi:10.3390/ma10050475 (IF:3.300)
  • Mohamed Wali AR, Zhou J, Ma S, He Y, Yue D,Tang JZ, Gu Z. (2017) Tailoring the supramolecular structure of amphiphilic glycopolypeptide analogue toward liver targeted drug delivery systems. Int J Pharm. 525(1):191-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.04.009. (IF:4.428)
  • He Y, Zhou J, Ma S, Nie Y, Yue D, Jiang Q, Mohamed Wali AR, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2016Multi-Responsive “Turn-On” Nanocarriers for Efficient Site-Specific Gene Delivery In Vitro and In Vivo, Advanced Healthcare Materials, 26 September 2016, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201600710 (IF:5.790)
  • Pu L, Wang J, Li N, Chai Q, Irache JM, Wang G, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2016) Synthesis of Electroneutralized Amphiphilic Copolymers with Peptide Dendrons for Intramuscular Gene Delivery. ACS Applied Materials & Interface Publication date (Web): May 16, 2016 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b02592 (IF:6.723).
  • Huarte J, Espuelas S, Lai Y, He B, Tang JZ, Irache JM (2016) Oral delivery of camptothecin using cyclodextrin/poly(anhydride) nanoparticles, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 506: 116-128 doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.04.045 (IF: 3.65)
  • Zhang W, Liu X, Fan H, Zhu D, Wu X, Huang X, Tang JZ (2016) Separation and purification of alkaloids from Sophora flavescens Ait. by focused microwave-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction coupled with reversed micellar extraction, Industrial Crops and Products 86: 231–238 doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.03.052 (IF: 2.837)
  • Chen Z, Zhang W,Tang X, Fan H, Xie X, Wan Q, Wu X, Tang JZ (2016) Extraction and characterisation of polysaccharides from Semen Cassiae by microwave-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction coupled with spectroscopy and HPLC, Carbohydrate Polymers 144: 263-270 doi:10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.02.063 (IF: 4.074)
  • Ma S, Zhou J, Mohamed Wali AR, He Y, Xu X, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2015) Self-assembly of pH-sensitive fluorinated peptide dendron functionalized dextran nanoparticles for on-demand intracellular drug delivery. J Mater Sci: Mater Med 26(8):219 DOI 10.1007/s10856-015-5550-z (IF: 2.587)
  • Yang Y, Li N, Nie Y, Sheng M, Yue D, Wang G, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2015) Folate-modified poly(malic acid) graft polymeric nanoparticles for targeted delivery of doxorubicin: synthesis, characterisation and folate receptor expressed cell specificity. J Biomed Nanotech 11: 1628-1639  doi:10.1166/jbn.2015.2132 (IF: 5.338)
  • Chen Z, Zhang W, Wang L, Fan H, Wan Q, Wu X, Tang X, Tang JZ (2015) Enantioseparation of racemic flurbiprofen by aqueous two-phase extraction with binary chiral selectors of L-dioctyl tartrate and L-tryptophan, Chirality 27(9): 650-657. DOI: 10.1002/chir.22481 (IF: 1.886)
  • Zhang W, Zhu D, Fan H, Liu X, Wan Q, Wu X, Liu P, Tang JZ (2015) Simultaneous extraction and purification of alkaloids from Sophora Flavescens Ait. by microwave-assisted aqueous two-phase extraction with ethanol/ammonia sulfate system. Separation and Purification Technology 141:113-123 doi:10.1016/j.seppur.2014.11.014 (IF: 3.523)
  • Dong CL, Webb WR, Peng Q, Tang JZ, Forsyth NR, Chen GQ, El Haj AJ (2015Sustained PDGF-BB release from PHBHHx loaded nanoparticles in 3D hydrogel/stem cell model. J Biomed Mater Res Part A 103A: 282-288 doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35149. (IF: 2.840)
  • Liu P, Wang Z, Brown S, Kannappan V, Tawari PE, Jiang W, Irache JM, Tang JZ, Armesilla AL, Darling JL, Tang X, Wang W (2014Liposome encapsulated Disulfiram inhibits NFκB pathway and targets breast cancer stem cells in vitro and in vivo. Oncotarget 5(17):7471-85 (IF: 6.63)
  • Liu P, Kumar IS, Brown S, Kannappan V, Tawari PE, Tang JZ, Jiang W, Armesilla AL, Darling JL, Wang W (2013Disulfiram targets cancer stem-like cells and reverses resistance and cross-resistance in acquired paclitaxel-resistant triple-negative breast cancer cells. Br J Cancer 109(7):1876-85. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.534 (IF: 5.082)
  • Lai K, Jiang W, Tang JZ, Wu Y, He B, Wang G, Gu ZW (2012) Superparamagnetic nano-composite scaffolds for promoting bone cell proliferation and defect reparation without a magnetic field, RSC Advances 2(33):13007-13017 (DOI:10.1039/C2RA22376G) (IF: 2.56)
  • Liu R, He B, Li D, Lai Y, Tang JZ, Gu Z. (2012Stabilization of pH-sensitive mPEG-PH-PLA nanoparticles by stereocomplexation between enantiomeric polylactides. Macromol Rapid Commun. 33(12): 1061-1066 (DOI:10.1002/marc.201100854 ) (IF:4.929)
  • Liu R, He B, Li D, Lai Y, Chang J, Tang JZ, Gu Z. (2012) Effects of pH-sensitive chain length on release of doxorubicin from mPEG-b-PH-b-PLLA nanoparticles. Int J Nanomedicine. 7: 4433-4446 (DOI:10.2147/IJN.S32053)(IF:3.463)
  • Liu R, He B, Li D, Lai Y, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2012) Synthesis and characterization of poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-histidine)-b-poly(L-lactide) with pH Sensitivity, Polymer 53 (7): 1473-1482 (DOI: 10.1016 /j.polymer.2012.02.013) (IF: 3.968)
  • Yu Z, He B, Long C, Liu R, Sheng M, Wang G, Tang JZ, Gu Z (2012) Synthesis, characterization, and drug delivery of amphiphilic poly{(lactic acid)-co-[(glycolic acid)-alt-(L-glutamic acid)]}-g-poly(ethylene glycol), Macromolecular Res 20(3) 250-258 (DOI: 0.1007/s13233-012-0055-9) (IF:1.639)
  • Dong CL, Li SY, Wang Y, Dong Y, Tang JZ, Chen JC, Chen GQ (2012) The cytocompatability of polyhydroxyalkanoates coated with a fusion protein of PHA repressor protein (PhaR) and Lys-Gln-Ala-Gly-Asp-Val (KQAGDV) polypeptide, Biomaterials 33(9): 2593-2599 (DOI: 10.1016 / j.biomaterials. 2011.12.020) (IF:7.883)
  • Liang Z, Gong T, Sun X, Tang JZ, Zhang Z (2011) Chitooligosaccharides as drug carriers for renal delivery of zidovudine, Carbohydrate Polymer  87(3):2284-2290 (DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2011.10.060) (IF: 3.479)
  • Tang JZ, Naqvi Z, Akhtar N, Ali S, Wang W (2010) The effect of solvents on the morphologies of disulfiram copper (II) complex, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology  62(10):1354-1355 (IF:2.033)
  • Curran JM, Tang ZG, Hunt JA (2009) PLGA doping of PCL affects the plastic potential of human mesenchymal stem cells, both in the presence and absence of biological stimuli, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 89A (1), 1-12 (IF: 3.044)