Given by: Tomoko Fujiwara, PhD
Department of Chemistry, The University of Memphis
September 26, 2007
4:00p.m. in Manning Hall room 201
Biodegradable and biocompatible synthetic polymers have been widely used in biomedical
applications such as sutures, delivery vehicles, implant materials, and tissue engineering
scaffolds. They harmlessly degrade inside the body after the interaction with body
fluid, enzyme, and cells.
One of the most studied applications for these polymers is controlled drug-delivery
devices since they can effectively deliver drugs, thus increasing the therapeutic
benefit and decreasing side effects of the drug. However, the conventional drug delivery systems such as implants and some oral delivery systems
typically produce a sharp initial increase in drug concentration above the therapeutic
range, followed by a fast decrease in concentration to a level below the therapeutic
Controlling the rate is essential since initial concentration peaks can pose a serious
risk of toxicity and related complications for potent drugs. Additionally, more precisely
located delivery is critical to decrease the risk of toxicity. For these reasons,
“drug targeting at when and where” is one of the emerging subjects for the biomaterials scientists, and is highly expected
in the clinical field.
We are developing new polymeric nano-/biomaterials which possess “smart” properties
and functions to address above problems. The following projects will be overviewed;
1) Photo-switchable smart polymers 2) Biocompatible dendrimers containing gold nanoparticles
3) Thermo-responsive hydrogels.