Topics in Bioengineering

Protein Nanoparticles as multifunctional drug delivery carriers

Joerg Lahann (University of Michigan)

Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Precise control of the physical and biochemical properties of nanoparticle-based drug delivery vehicles is a prerequisite for effective transport of drugs across a range of biological barriers. To date, the range of biodegradable macromolecular systems with appropriate biocompatibility, low levels of immunogenicity and extended structural stability that can be prepared at scale remains rather limited. Towards that end, nanoparticles comprised of protein/polymer conjugates offer a range of unique features, such as biodegradability and extended in vivo stability, active targeting and stimuli-responsiveness, or the potential for delivery of small-molecule drugs and biopharmaceuticals. Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) co-jetting, an adaptive manufacturing process that involves transferring two or more capillary needles in a side-by-side configuration, can be used to create a wide range of multicompartmental protein/polymer nanoparticles. The protein nanoparticles combine the processability of synthetic polymers with the biological properties of proteins. In the context of glioblastoma multiforme, protein nanoparticles have been devised that enable systemic delivery of RNAi to intracranial brain tumors. Protein nanoparticles that can enable controlled release of combination drugs from the same nanoparticle will also be discussed.

Speaker Bio

Joerg Lahann is the Wolfgang Pauli Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering. Since 2012, he has been the founding director of the University of Michigan Biointerfaces Institute. Prof. Lahann is a co-author of more than 325 publications including papers in Science, Nature Materials, Nature Biotechnology, or PNAS and has contributed to 50 patents and patent applications. He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences (AAAS), and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He has been selected by Technology Review as one of the top 100 young investigators and the recipient of the 2007 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Award, a NSF-CAREER award, and both a single-PI and a team Idea award (2006 & 2011) from the US Department of Defense. Prof. Lahann has an h-index of 70; 169 of his publications published after 2018 have been cited more than 10 times by other researchers (i10-index: 169, source: google scholar). The Lahann Lab has contributed to development of 3D printing methods for ultraporous, precisely engineered support structures that can be used for three-dimensional human organoids or mircotumors, vapor-based polymer coatings for biomedical applications, and the development of multicompartmental nanoparticles.


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