Engineering Solutions to Address Challenges in Drug Delivery

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium | Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemical Engineering

University of California, Santa Barbara

Engineering Solutions to Address Challenges in Drug Delivery

Targeted delivery of therapeutics in a patient-compliant manner is a critical technological and societal challenge in today’s healthcare. Our laboratory is addressing this challenge by focusing on two critical needs; development of non-invasive alternatives to needle-based injections and development of strategies to target drugs to diseased sites. We have engineered approaches to deliver macromolecules across the skin using various tools including ultrasound, chemical enhancers, liquid microjets and peptide transporters. We have also extended these approaches to oral delivery to enable oral administration of proteins.
My talk will primarily focus on the strategies developed by our laboratory for targeted delivery of drugs to diseased sites by encapsulating them in polymeric particles. Particle properties have a significant impact on their therapeutic performance including circulation half-life, drug release rates and toxicity. Our studies have shown that particle morphology plays a significant role in determining the biological and therapeutic outcome of nanoparticles. We have devised methods to generate particles of several distinct morphologies 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 nanoparticles that demonstrate enhanced targeting towards cancer and cardiovascular disease sites.
My talk will present an overview of the engineering principles that lay the foundation of our research in drug delivery, applications of these principles to address critical needs in drug delivery and translation of these solutions to clinical practice.

Professor 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.