Drug delivery to be topic of chemical engineering seminar

Published: Mar 2, 2009 8:42:00 AM
Media Contact: Sally Credille, src0007@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

Samir Mitragotri, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California-Santa Barbara, will present "Drug Delivery Using Polymeric Carriers: Challenges and Solutions" on Wednesday, March 4, at 3:30 p.m. in 136 Ross Hall. His lecture is hosted by Auburn University's Department of Chemical Engineering.

Mitragotri will discuss polymeric micro- and nanoparticles, which 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.

His research aims at developing quantitative laws describing the relationships between particle design and performance. In particular, his group focuses on engineering particle shape, a design parameter that has received little attention in the past. Mitragotri's team has designed novel polymeric particles possessing complex shapes that are highly resistant to phagocytosis and other processes relevant to drug delivery. These studies reveal that particle shape provides a new dimension in engineering of polymeric carriers and opens new opportunities in drug delivery.

Mitragotri received his doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a post-doctoral associate at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology before joining UC-Santa Barbara in 2000. His research interests include the development of innovative methods of drug delivery, as well as 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.

He has earned numerous honors, including the American Pharmaceutical Association's Ebert Prize, Technology Review Young Innovator award, International Research Promotion Council Young Scientist award, 3M Young Faculty award and American Institute of Chemical Engineering's Allan P. Colburn award. He is an editorial board member of the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Journal of Controlled Release and Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is the author of more than 100 publications and an inventor of more than 30 issued or pending patents.