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Chemical Engineering Seminar: Liangfang Zhang (UC San Diego)

Monday, October 16, 2017 at 9:00am

Olin Hall, 165

"Engineering Biomimetic Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery, Detoxification and Vaccination"

Abstract: Nanoparticle technology has enabled a wide array of improvements in the treatment of cancer and other diseases, ranging from improved efficacy in drug delivery to enhanced immunogenicity of vaccines. Among the different bio-inspired nanotechnology strategies, utilization of cellular membrane material for nanoparticle preparation presents a unique top-down approach that offers the advantage of being able to completely replicate the surface antigens and functions of source cells. Herein, I report the biological functionalization of polymeric nanoparticles with a layer of membrane coating derived from natural red blood cells (RBCs). This approach aims to camouflage the nanoparticle surface with the erythrocyte exterior for long circulation while retaining the applicability of the cores that support the RBC membrane shell. In vivo results revealed superior pharmacokinetics and biodistribution by the RBC-mimicking nanoparticles as compared to control particles coated with the state-of-the-art synthetic stealth materials. Three types of exciting applications of such biomimetic nanoparticle system will be discussed: drug delivery, systemic detoxification, and toxin vaccination.

Biography: Dr. Liangfang Zhang received his B.E. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University, and his Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006 under the supervision of Prof. Steve Granick. He was a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Langer at MIT during 2006-2008.  He joined the Department of Nanoengineering at UC San Diego as an Assistant Professor in July 2008 and was promoted to an Associate Professor with tenure in March 2012 and to Professor in July 2014. Dr. Zhang’s research interests focus on biomimetic nanomedicine, with a particular interest in creating and evaluating nanostructured biomaterials for drug delivery, detoxification and vaccination for treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. He has published 132 peer-reviewed articles and holds 51 issued/pending patents. He received the ACS Victor K. LaMer Award (2009), UCSD Best Teacher Award (2011), ACS Unilever Award (2012), MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Innovator Award (2013), AIChE Allan P. Colburn Award (2014), AIMBE Fellow (2015), Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 Award (2016), and the U.S. Department of State ASPIRE Award (2017).

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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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Stephanie Palcich

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Liangfang Zhang

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