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Engineering Nanoparticles for Peptide Delivery to Vascular Grafts

Primary Investigator:
Craig Duvall

Brief Description of Project:
Our lab recently developed a new polymer-based nano-formulation for delivery of therapeutic peptides to vascular grafts during transplant procedures (for patients undergoing bypass surgery due to blocked coronary arteries in the heart). We have shown therapeutic benefit of this drug delivery approach in preclinical models of vascular bypass and ex vivo in human tissue.

This project will involve work on two aspects of this project:

-Developing new, more reliable methods for fabrication of these nanoparticles to optimize their size and to make them more uniform.

-Expand the use of this nano-formulation approach to new therapeutic peptides.

Desired Qualification:
Highly motivated students interested in research who have taken general chemistry and preferably BME 103 (biomaterials). Completion of organic chemistry class and lab are also desired but not required.

Nature of Supervision:
The undergraduate researcher will have the opportunity to meet at least weekly to discuss research progress with the PI. Hands-on training and support will be provided by a graduate student who will serve as a mentor.

A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Students will be involved in development and optimization of a new nanoparticle fabrication approach with the goal of producing monodispersed particles of different sizes. The student will also complete basic nanoparticle characterization by dynamic light scattering and electron microscopy. The functional effect of various nanoparticle fabrication parameters will be assessed based on peptide delivery to cells and tissues.

Number of Open Slots: 1

Contact information:
Craig L. Duvall, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering
PMB 351631
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1631
office phone: (615)322-3598
fax: (615)343-7919