Summer Scholar Michael Porter interns with Hammond Lab to develop targeted drug delivery.
|MIT biological engineering graduate student Brett Geiger, left, and MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Michael Porter hold a model of knee joints in Hammond Lab, which is working to develop a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system for osteoarthritis in the knee. Photo, Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center|
Osteoarthritis, a progressive deterioration of the cartilage in the joints, affects about 27 million Americans, with nearly 550,000 a year getting knee replacement surgery, according to a National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet. Researchers in the Hammond Lab at MIT are working on a nanoparticle-based drug delivery technique to slow the progress of knee cartilage wearing out.
MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar Michael Porter gravitated to the lab of Paula Hammond, head of the chemical engineering department at MIT, following his interest in drug delivery and imaging. “I wanted to look for some opportunity that would kind of nurture that interest and that’s how I found this program here at MIT,” Porter, a junior chemical engineering major at Johns Hopkins University.
“As I started taking more elective classes, I found myself gravitating more toward materials applications,” Porter says. “I was interested in drug delivery and Hammond Lab does a lot of the biomaterials, particularly, polymers and such.”
Porter will be working on the knee joint project under MIT biological engineering graduate student Brett Geiger. Porter will synthesize layer-by-layer nanoparticles designed to penetrate and stay in cartilage, using cartilage from cow’s knees as a test material.
“Part of the challenge is to get those design criteria within a nanoparticle,” Porter says. “We’re going to see how, once I’ve built the nanoparticles, how well they penetrate, and not only penetrate, but how long do they stay there to release the drug application.”
MPC and CMSE sponsor the nine-week National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) internships with support from NSF’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers program (grant number DMR-14-19807). The program runs from June 7 through Aug. 6, 2016.
– Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center
June 29, 2016