(311b) Contributions Chemical Engineers Can Make to Therapeutic Delivery to the Lungs
As Chemical Engineers we sometimes wonder what we can contribute to medical science. I will give examples from our work, and suggest that the first step is collaborating with medical researchers who understand the physiology and disease pathology that needs to be addressed. With that starting point our understanding of fluid mechanics, material science, and self-assembly enables us to make important contributions which the medical community is not equipped to provide. We will give two examples of nanoparticle delivery to the lungs that address problems in TB and non-small cell lung cancer. The first example is the creation of inhalable aerosol particles comprising therapeutic nanoparticles and a matrix phase to create low-density particles that enable delivery to the deep lung. The second example is the creation of gel microparticles that deliver nanoparticles through venous filtration. The gel microparticles are created by emulsion processing and polymer gelation so that the IV injected particles are trapped in the vasculature in the lungs where they deliver anti-cancer drugs over extended periods.