March 10, 2016
Balloun Lecture, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
“Innovative Systems for Effective Delivery of Therapeutics”
Department of Chemical Engineering
Effective delivery of therapeutics is a major problem in today’s healthcare. For example, in the case of protein and peptide drugs such as insulin, growth hormones, and vaccines, a key challenge is their stabilization and delivery without having to use needles. All proteins are currently delivered by needles, which have several limitations including pain, needle-phobia, and contamination caused by dirty needles. Dr. Mitragotri’s laboratory is addressing this challenge by delivering proteins using transdermal patches and oral pills. Neither of these routes is inherently suited for protein delivery since they offer significant diffusive and enzymatic barriers for protein transport. They have developed a number of technologies that overcome these barriers to deliver proteins for the treatment of diabetes, osteoporosis, psoriasis and several other diseases. He will present an overview of these technologies with respect to their principles and applications. Targeting of drugs to specific tissues is also a key challenge in therapeutic delivery. This is especially problematic for cancer and cardiovascular diseases, where the effectiveness of drugs is limited by their poor accumulation at the disease tissue and high accumulation in healthy tissues. Many tumors or cardiovascular lesions are small and structurally similar to the healthy tissue. Dr. Mitragotri’s laboratory is developing nanoparticles that can encapsulate chemotherapeutic drugs and target them to tumors. Their strategy explores biomimetic designs that leverage the principles of natural cells such as platelets and red blood cells to accomplish excellent targeting.
Samir Mitragotri is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He also serves as the Founding Director of UCSB’s Center for Bioengineering. He received Ph.D. from MIT in 1996 and B.S. from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai in 1992. Prof. Mitragotri’s research interests are in the field of drug delivery and biomaterials. His research has advanced fundamental understanding of transport processes in biological systems and led to the development of new materials and technologies for diagnosis and treatment of various ailments including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases.
Dr. Mitragotri has published over 150 publications in scientific journals and books. He has given over 175 invited lectures at various conferences around the world. He is an inventor on 80 pending or issued patents. Dr. Mitragotri’s work has received more than 9100 citations (h-index of 52). His work has also been highlighted in numerous popular and news media including Scientific American, Popular Science, R&D Magazine, New York Times, USA Today, and Discover magazine. He also co-founded seven companies (Sontra, fqubed, Stratagent, Seventh Sense, Dx, Entrega and Convoy) that are developing various products for detection and treatment of diseases.