Students are introduced to the three primary classes of biomaterials (metals, ceramics, and polymers), the structure/function properties of these materials, and strategies for modifying these biomaterials to tailor to the design needs of specific biomedical applications. In the second portion of the class, students learn about the biological responses (i.e. inflammation, immune response, healing) to biomaterial implantation and approaches that can be used to optimize biomaterial functionality for specific applications. Finally, after learning basic biomaterials theory, students are introduced to state-of-the-art work implementing biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue engineering.
Immunoengineering is an interdisciplinary effort between immunologists and engineers to better understand the human immune system and harness its diverse functions for diagnostic and therapeutic goals. This course is an in-depth introduction to the growing field of immunoengineering, with an emphasis on immune-modulatory biomaterials that target components of the immune system. The course consists of a sequence of five topical modules: 1) fundamentals of immunology, 2) the immunologist’s toolbox, 3) vaccines and immunotherapies, 4) drug delivery principles for vaccines and immunotherapies, and 5) materials for immunoengineering. The goal of the course is to establish basic knowledge of immunology and immune-modulatory biomaterials, expose students to the state-of-the-art in immunoengineering research, and impress upon students the vast potential of using the immune system to improve human health.
Drug and Gene Delivery
Drug and Gene Delivery describes the design of synthetic and natural materials that improve the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutics. Drug delivery scientists endeavor to maximize on-target delivery of the drug (improving efficacy) and limit off-target distribution of the drug (reducing unintended side-effects). This course provides an in-depth introduction to the field of Drug and Gene Delivery to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Initially, the course covers the fundamentals of drug delivery, including routes of delivery, physiologic drug delivery barriers, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics. Students are then immersed into the current Drug and Gene Delivery literature, with a special focus on new biomaterials under development for enabling controlled release, tissue targeting, improved bioactivity of different classes of compounds, and delivery of different classes of nucleic acid-based therapeutics.