Giving Nanoparticles Directions using Surface Chemistry
Dr. Catherine Fromen
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow
Chemical Engineering Department
University of Michigan
Nanomedical drug delivery carriers are particles engineered to deliver a payload to a precise location in the body. Particle carriers typically shield a bioactive molecule in an inert particle matrix, dramatically increasing effective payload concentrations at the desired site while simultaneously limiting unwanted side effects stemming from non-specific delivery. In principle, engineered nano- and microparticle drug delivery vehicles have the potential to improve an incredible number of therapeutics, including novel treatments for vaccinations, cancer, inflammation, and allergy. However, the success of the particle carrier ultimately relies on overcoming the many biological barriers to successfully localize to a target location. The intended target may range from an entire organ, to an individual cell population, to a diseased region of tissue, to a specific cellular compartment. Regardless of the location, carrier transport is prescribed by its physical and chemical properties and the surrounding biological barriers, dictated by the route of administration. This talk will detail how the chemical surface properties of a particle carrier can be tuned to control the particle transport and ultimate cellular fate to improve therapeutic outcomes. I will discuss the role of particle surface chemistry for several diverse medical applications including pulmonary mucosal vaccines, extended particle residence times in the lungs, delivery to inflamed endothelium, controlled interactions with key innate immune cells, and Th1-type immune stimulation. Combined, these works demonstrate the importance of particle chemical properties in achieving desirable therapeutic outcomes and how rationally designed particle therapeutics can precisely interface with desired regions of the body.
Catherine Fromen is currently conducting her postdoctoral studies as a University of Michigan President’s Postdoctoral Fellow (PPFP), performing research with Dr. Omolola Eniola-Adefeso in the Chemical Engineering Department. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester (2009) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at North Carolina State University (2014), under the direction of Dr. Joseph DeSimone. Her research has focused on designing nano- and micro-particles to engineer controlled responses with the immune system towards translational medical applications and she looks forward to building an independent career in this area focusing on pulmonary drug delivery. In addition to her PPFP award, Catherine has received notable honors recognizing her research and teaching achievements, including the University of Michigan’s Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow Award and the North Carolina State University’s Mentored Teaching Award.
Monday, February 20 at 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Building, 132
216 S. Palmetto Blvd., Clemson, SC 29634, USA