Biomimetic Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery, Detoxification and Vaccination

Friday, October 31, 2014 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Liangfang Zhang

Professor of Nanoengineering
University of California, San Diego

Biomimetic Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery, Detoxification and Vaccination


Efforts to extend nanoparticle residence time in vivo have inspired many strategies in particle surface modifications to bypass macrophage uptake and systemic clearance. Herein I report a top-down biomimetic approach in particle functionalization by coating synthetic nanoparticles with natural red blood cell (RBC) membranes including both membrane lipids and associated membrane proteins for long-circulating cargo delivery. This approach aims to camouflage the nanoparticle surface with the erythrocyte exterior for long circulation while retaining the applicability of the cores that support the RBC membrane shell. In vivo results revealed superior pharmacokinetics and biodistribution by the RBC-mimicking nanoparticles as compared to control particles coated with the state-of-the-art synthetic stealth materials. Two promising applications of such biomimetic nanoparticle system will be discussed; drug delivery and systemic detoxification.


Dr. Liangfang Zhang received his Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2006 under the supervision of Prof. Steve Granick. He was a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Langer at MIT during 2006-2008.  He joined the Department of Nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as an Assistant Professor in July 2008 and was promoted to an Associate Professor with tenure in March 2012 and to Professor in July 2014. Dr. Zhang's research interests focus on the design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of nanostructured biomaterials for drug delivery to improve or enable treatments of human diseases, with particular interests in cancers and bacterial infections. He has published near 90 peer-reviewed articles and holds 31 patents on these topics. He has received the ACS Victor K. LaMer Award (2009), UCSD Best Teacher Award (2011), ACS Unilever Award (2012), the MIT Technology Review's TR35 Innovator Award (2013), and the AIChE Allan P. Colburn Award (2014).