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Self-assembled Nanoparticles

Self-assembly polymeric nanospheres are vastly used to increase the efficiency and solubility of hydrophobic drugs. Our research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of biodegradable and biocompatible tyrosine-derived block copolymers that self-assemble in aqueous media forming a dynamic core-shell structure. We are interested in investigating the physical-chemical properties of the molecular assembly as well as to explore the capability of the system to locally or systemically deliver different hydrophobic drugs promoting significant improvements in the biomedical field.

Polymeric Microparticles

Our research focuses on the development of polymeric microparticles for drug delivery of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs. Our microparticles can be composed of a variety of biodegradable, biocompatible polymers based on the need of the application. Understanding the polymer properties such as thermal properties, hydrophobicity, and molecular weight plays a unique effect on drug loading and release. Varying the polymer degradation timeline also allows for control on the drug release profile. Monodisperse microparticles are prepared using a continuous flow (120-300 µm) and probe sonication (1-5 µm) methods.

Drug Loaded Films for Local Delivery

Active pharmaceutical ingredients have routinely been loaded into our nanoparticles, the TyroSpheres, and subsequentially incorporated into a secondary fast-degradable delivery polymeric matrix in gel and film form.  Such secondary delivery matrices, when optimized, is critical to ensure that the intended API dosage is delivered to the local treatment site with minimum loss and maximum uniformity over the entire area of interest.  These secondary gels and films also improve handling and simplify storage for the formulation, a critical aspect of a delivery system to consider for collaborative inter-laboratory studies.  Several of our critical animal experiments ranging from murine to non-human primate have successfully leveraged these secondary film delivery matrix approach.