POLYMERIC BIOMATERIALS LAB

 

The Polymeric Biomaterials Lab is designing new delivery vehicles for drugs that range from small molecules and genetic materials to proteins and cells. Polymer vehicles enable these drugs to reach their targets, maintain stability and limit side effects. The lab is also interested in continued efforts to improve sustainability and is always working toward greener chemistry processes and bio-sourced polymer materials.

Current Projects:

Controlled delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
This project is aimed at functionalizing and optimizing a PLGA microsphere extended-release delivery platform to be used for intra-articular corticosteroid injections. Goal criteria include demonstrating decreased required dosing frequency, increased therapeutic efficacy/immunogenicity, and a reduction of both local and systemic adverse effects post-treatment.

Polymer vehicles for the delivery of genetic material in CAR-T cell therapy
By using the beneficial properties of cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) we hope to improve polymer-based non-viral gene delivery methods. This research is focused on exploring different CPPs in conjunction with polyethylenimine (PEI) and their ability to improve the delivery of genes in T cells to improve T cell therapy.

Bio-derived polymeric materials for airline composites
In collaboration with Dr. Ross Lee in Sustainable Engineering, the goal of this project is to develop a bio-sourced phenolic resin that can be used in airline composites for interior cabin parts. The project includes a whole systems approach using a STEEP analysis for the best bio-sourced material.

Facilities:

The Polymeric Biomaterials Lab is located at 216 White Hall. The lab has the capability to:

  • Synthesize small batches of polymers and run GPC to test the size, H1-NMR is done in collaboration with the Chemistry Department
  • Synthesize nano-and micro-sized drug filled particles (homogenizer, bath sonication, refrigerated high speed centrifugation, DLS)
  • Evaluate drug release profiles (dissolution cells, Shimadzu HPLC)
  • Evaluate polymer-cell viability (BSC Class II, CO2 incubator, microscope) in collaboration with other CBE labs – ELISA, Flow-cytometer

DIRECTOR

Dr. Noelle Comolli

Associate Professor and Chair, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Phone: 610-519-7134
Email: noelle.comolli@villanova.edu