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Stimuli-responsive materials for drug delivery, neuromodulation, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.


The development/application of novel drug delivery systems capable of precisely controlling the delivery of their payloads is an area of intense current research interest as the importance of personalized medicine has been understood. Such systems potentially enable spatiotemporally controlled delivery, for example, maintaining a therapeutically effective level of a drug, minimizing unwanted side effects, and thereby enhancing treatment efficiency. Stimuli-responsive materials (SRMs) have significant potential for the development of smart biomaterials capable of drug delivery with defined release profiles. We are interested in the design, synthesis, and characterization of biomaterials capable of responding to one or more stimuli, and their use in various paradigms.


An interdisciplinary approach combining chemistry (synthesis), materials science and engineering was employed to prepare and characterize SRMs and their composites (e.g., mechanics, microscopy and spectroscopy). SRMs and their composites were exposed to stimuli (electricity, light and magnetism), and the release profiles of their payloads (e.g., drugs) was quantified spectroscopically.


Electricity, light and magnetism are capable of triggering the delivery of drugs or biologics of various molecular weights from SRMs and their composites in vitro and ex vivo as demonstrated spectroscopically.


SRMs can deliver a variety of clinically relevant payloads of various molecular weights in response to triggers, and can potentially be used to control the chronopharmacology of their payloads in line with the chronobiology of the condition needing treatment. The bioactivities of the bioactive molecules includes anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and growth factors. The stimulation paradigms are either designed to be adaptable to integration in existing medical devices or technologies (e.g., catheter balloons inserted via minimally invasive surgery, medical electronics such as bionic eyes, cochlear implants, electrodes for deep brain stimulation, etc.).