Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
"Microfabricated microdevices for drug delivery, vaccination and other biomedical applications."
Medical therapies rely on delivering drugs to their target locations in increase drug efficacy and reduce side effects. Our laboratory focuses on targeted drug delivery to the skin and within the eye. We will report on vaccination using microneedle patches, including results from human trials. In addition to describing innovations in the engineering of microneedle patches, findings from a recent phase 1 clinical trial of influenza vaccination using a microneedle patch will be highlighted. We will also report on development of novel methods to direct drug delivery to the back of the eye by microneedle injection into the suprachoroidal space. Novel formulations will be emphasized that control drug transport during and after injection.
Faculty Host: Dr. Hyo-Jick Choi
Mark Prausnitz is Regents Professor and J. Erskine Love Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned a BS degree from Stanford University and a PhD degree from MIT, both in chemical engineering. Dr. Prausnitz and his colleagues carry out research on biophysical methods of drug delivery, which employ microneedles, ultrasound, lasers and other physical means to control the transport of drugs and vaccines into and within the body.
A major area of focus involves the use of microneedle patches to apply vaccines to the skin in a painless, minimally invasive manner. In collaboration with Emory University, CDC and other organizations, Dr. Prausnitzʼs group is advancing microneedles from device design and fabrication through pharmaceutical formulation and pre-clinical animal studies and into studies in human subjects. The Prausnitz group has also developed hollow microneedles for targeted drug delivery in the eye in collaboration with Emory University. Other projects including the use of laser-activated nanoparticles to facilitate intracellular delivery of molecules, design of ionic liquids as pharmaceuticals and adaptation of microneedle technology to extract fluid from the skin for diagnostic and monitoring purposes.
In addition to research activities, Dr. Prausnitz teaches an introductory course on engineering calculations, as well as two advanced courses on pharmaceuticals. He also serves the broader scientific and business communities as a frequent consultant, advisory board member and expert witness, and has co-founded four start-up companies.