Designer Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery


Designer Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery: Physical Answers to Biological Questions

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


Polymeric nanoparticles have wide application in varied fields including drug delivery and medical imaging. Particle’s properties have significant impact on their therapeutic performance including circulation half-life, drug release rates and toxicity. Our research aims at developing quantitative guidelines describing the relationships between nanoparticle design and their performance as a drug delivery carrier. 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 including phagocytosis, circulation, adhesion of vascular walls, and targeting. Based on this understanding, we have designed novel polymeric particles that demonstrate reduced phagocytosis and enhanced targeting.
Our studies demonstrate that particle shape provides a new dimension in engineering of polymeric carriers and opens up new opportunities in drug delivery. In addition to shape, we demonstrate that controlling mechanical properties of carriers also offers unique opportunities. Specifically, we have synthesized flexible particles made from proteins that mimic the physical and functional properties of body’s own circulating cells such as red blood cells. Particles that mimic the size, shape and flexibility of natural circulating cells offer advantages that are typically lacking in standard spherical polymeric particles.
The motivation to use physical properties of nanoparticles to control biological function is provided by the biology itself. In nature, numerous examples can be found where physical aspects, such as shape, mechanical properties and compartmentalization are crucial to biological function. We demonstrate that physical attributes such as size, shape and mechanical properties form essential building blocks of biology. This realization forms the basis of the new paradigm in design of nanoparticles.


Speaker Background

Samir Mitragotri is a professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also the director of the Center for Bioengineering at UCSB. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT. His research interests include the development of novel methods of drug delivery including transdermal, oral, and particle-based methods. His honors include Ebert Prize by American Pharmaceutical Association, Technology Review Young Innovator award, CRS-Dow Corning award for outstanding research, 3M Young Faculty award, Global Indus Technovator Award, Pfizer-Capsugel award for innovative work in oral drug delivery, Hendrick C. Van Ness Lecturer at RPI, Allan P. Colburn award from American Institute of Chemical Engineering, and Young Investigator award from CRS. He is also an elected fellow of AIMBE. His teaching honors include outstanding faculty award and Chancellor’s award for excellence in undergraduate research. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of several journals, the author of over 130 publications, and is an inventor of over 60 issued or pending patents.



Thursday April 28


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park Mountain View, CA  94043
Directions  Map


6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture





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Lecture-only is free.


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Please register on the web page or contact:
Len Radzilowski

phone: 650-361-3264

Deadline for registration:

5PM, Wednesday April 20 for early registration discount
5PM, Wednesday April 27 for registration (or until venue has reached capacity.)

Dinner Selections:

Salmon filet with beurre blanc
Chicken with Herbed Butter
Mushroom Crepes

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