Engineering Shape in Polymeric Micro- and Nanoparticles


Engineering Shape in Polymeric Micro- and Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery

Prof. Samir Mitragotri
Dept. of Chemical Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara

Polymeric micro- and nanoparticles are routinely used for applications in drug delivery. Encapsulation of drugs in polymeric carriers protects them from enzymatic degradation and provides sustained release over prolonged periods. Further, encapsulation also allows drug targeting via cell and tissue-specific ligands. The performance characteristics of polymeric particles in the body, for example circulation times, macrophage clearance, targeting and drug release rates, depend on several particle parameters including size, shape, surface chemistry, and mechanical strength. Our research aims at developing quantitative laws describing the relationships between particle design and performance. We particularly focus on engineering particle shape, a design parameter that has received little attention in the past. We have devised methods to generate particles of several distinct shapes and studied their impact on key processes in drug delivery, in particular phagocytosis, the clearance of particles by macrophages. Our results show that particle shape makes a profound impact on phagocytosis, more so that particle size. Based on this understanding, we have designed novel polymeric particles possessing complex shapes that are highly resistant to phagocytosis. These studies reveal that particle shape provides a new dimension in engineering of polymeric carriers and opens up new opportunities in drug delivery.

Speaker Background

Samir Mitragotri is an associate professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a post-doctoral associate at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology before joining UCSB in 2000. His research interests include the development of novel methods of drug delivery, especially painless and patient-friendly alternatives to needle-based methods for administration of therapeutic proteins and vaccines. His group is also working on understanding transport processes in biological systems through experimental and theoretical investigations. His honors include Ebert Prize by American Pharmaceutical Association (1996), Technology Review Young Innovator award (1999), Young Scientist award by International Research Promotion Council (2000), CRS-Dow Corning award for outstanding research (2000), 3M Young Faculty award (2001), Global Indus Technovator Award (2003), Pfizer-Capsugel award for innovative work in oral drug delivery (2004), Hendrick C. Van Ness Lecturer at RPI (2004), and Allan P. Colburn award from American Institute of Chemical Engineering (2005). His teaching honors include outstanding faculty award (2001) and Chancellor’s award for excellence in undergraduate research (2003). He is a member of the Editorial Boards of European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Journal of Controlled Release, and Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is the author of 85 publications and is an inventor of 31 issued or pending patents.




Thursday, June 12


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park
2960 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA  94043
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6 PM social hour 
7 PM dinner 
8 PM lecture


$30 with advance registration 
Half price for students, retired, and unemployed. (late fee still applies, if applicable) 
Free if you attend just the lecture at 8PM. (but please let us know for headcount)
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    Claudia Allison
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Deadline for registration:

5 PM, Wednesday June 11

Dinner Selections:

broiled salmon with a lemon buerre blanc
chicken with herbed butter
spinach and cheese tortellini

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