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Design and Application of Polymeric Smart Biomaterials

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 range. 

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.

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Last Updated: 10/15/13