EECE Seminar - Dr. Sutapa Barua

Feb 3
11:30 AM
12:30 PM
Brauer Hall, room 12

Dr. Sutapa Barua, Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla

Lab-in-a-Particle: Engineering Nano- and Microparticles to Combat Infectious Diseases

Treatment and prevention of infectious disease rely on several routes: selective targeting of diseased cells and separation of pathogens from host cells are mentioned among others. Engineered drug nanoparticles of various shapes such as disks, rods, spheres and heteromer stars are synthesized in our laboratory to selectively invade and kill breast cancer cells. The cells overexpress human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER-2) proteins that are targeted for selective receptor-ligand interactions using Trastuzumab, a humanized IgG monoclonal antibody from Genentech (South San Francisco, CA). The shape-engineered drug nanoparticles are covered with a thin layer (approximately 10 nm) of bioresponsive polymer to protect the active structures of drug molecules in their nanoparticle shapes in addition to a controlled drug release in the cellular mimicking microenvironment. The nanoparticle shape influences tumor binding and invasion of the tumor cell volume. This lab-in-a-particle approach has shown to (1) enhance interactions with breast cancer cells, (2) degrade the bioresponsive polymer coating in the local environment, (3) release cytotoxic drug molecules and (4) induce a significant reduction in cancer cell population.

In a second project on bioseparation, we have demonstrated for the first time the effective removal of endotoxin from pharmaceutical formulations using polymer nanoparticles. The nanoparticles are shown to remove >99% endotoxins from pharmaceutical protein formulations. The challenge for biopharmaceutical industries is to remove those endotoxins from products as much as possible (below 0.1 ng/ml) because endotoxins may create a pyrogenic response including fever, tissue damage, and sepsis, a systemic inflammatory response syndrome that can lead to disseminated intravascular coagulation, shock, and organ failure. We show a new approach based on biocompatible polymer nanoparticles in its particulate, and biofilter forms to achieve improved effectiveness and efficiency in removing endotoxins from pharmaceutical formulations.

In our third project, we have developed a technology to grow mammalian cells on the surface of biodegradable microparticles in liquid cell culture suspension. We grow vascular endothelial cells onto synthesized biodegradable microparticles, where cells have extensive interaction with the particle surface. While being structurally supported, the microparticles represent a novel transplantation strategy to improve cell therapy for traumatic burn injury by spraying the cell-laden microparticles at the wound site and stimulating the inherent tissue growth.

An overview of this lab-in-a-particle approach could be a suitable and cost-effective way to carry out treatment and prevention for a range of human diseases from human-derived samples.