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BMEBT Doctoral Proposal Defense by Mishal Pokharel

When: Tuesday, May 30, 2023
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Description: BMEBT Doctoral Proposal Defense by Mishal Pokharel

Date: May 30, 2023
Time: 10:00am
Location: Textiles 219

Title: Novel Bio-Hybrid System Using Modified PLGA Microparticles Integrated with Light Materials for Nir-Light Mediated Sustained Drug Release

Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microparticles are widely used for controlled drug delivery due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. The extant systems exhibit inadequate site specificity, on-demand drug release, and deep-seated tissue penetration capabilities, consequently impeding the successful translation of research. While radiation and chemotherapy have shown efficacy, their imprecision, high cost, and sustained side effects present considerable limitations. Hence, there exists a pressing demand for a system that not only displays superior efficacy but also targets endogenous tumors while minimizing damage to adjacent tissue. In this study, we aim to fabricate PLGA microparticles using a microfluidic/electro-hydrodynamic atomization (EHDA) setup and integrate them with indocyanine green (ICG) for on-demand drug release using near-infrared (NIR) light. The microfluidic setup allows for precise control of the droplet size and shape, resulting in uniform microparticles with a narrow size distribution. Additionally, we will functionalize the microparticles with the RGD peptide sequence to target specific cells and allow for better adhesion. ICG is a NIR dye that can be used for imaging and phototherapy, making it a promising candidate for drug delivery applications. By integrating ICG into the PLGA microparticles, we can achieve both targeted drug delivery and real-time monitoring of drug release. The RGD peptide sequence is a well-known ligand for integrin receptors that are overexpressed on the surface of cancer cells. By functionalizing the PLGA microparticles with the RGD peptide sequence, we can increase the selectivity of drug delivery and reduce toxicity to healthy cells. Utilization of such a bio-hybrid microsphere system (BMS) allows for targeting all aspects of a drug delivery system.

For better drug delivery characteristics such as reducing burst release chitosan will be cross-linked to PLGA using Genepin. Genepin is a naturally derived cross-linker that and the integration of chitosan would help sustain the release rate. We also plan to encapsulate gold nanoparticles into the microparticles to achieve a synergistic effect in cancer treatment. Gold nanoparticles help increase the thermal response of the microparticles, enhancing the drug-release process when subjected to NIR light. The BMS will be subjected to a power density of 2-14 W/cm2 at a wavelength of 808 nm. The release kinetics and the effect of all components on the kinetics will be studied. On-demand drug release can be used to tailor, person-specific treatment. The microsphere size and component variations will be altered around the desired release kinetics.
To manipulate multiple particles, we will be using a galvanometer system integrated with an optical tweezer (OT). Moreover, we plan to use an OT with the galvanometer system to specifically target the cells of interest and trigger the drug release from the microparticle. The OT uses a focused laser beam to trap and manipulate microscopic objects, allowing for precise control of drug release. Overall, the integration of ICG, RGD peptide sequence, gold nanoparticles, and the use of a galvanometer system with an optical tweezer for targeted drug release holds great promise for improving the efficacy and selectivity of drug delivery for cancer treatment.

Advisor: Dr. Kihan Park, Department of Mechanical Engineering (

Committee Members: Dr. Tracie Ferreira, Department of Bioengineering
Dr. Milana Vasudev, Department of Bioengineering
Dr. Qinguo Fan, Department of Bioengineering
Dr. Chen-Lu Yang, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

All BMEBT graduate students are encouraged to attend, and all interested parties are invited.
Contact: > See Description for contact information
Topical Areas: Faculty, Students, Students, Graduate, Students, Undergraduate, Bioengineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Computer and Information Science, Co-op Program, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics