Michelle Teplensky: Metal-Organic Frameworks as a Tool for Drug Delivery
Location:B01 McCourtney Hall
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), well studied in the fields of Catalysis and separation, are a class of porous materials that have recently been applied to drug and gene delivery due to their high tunability and ability to encapsulate active molecules. The application of MOFs lowers the required amount of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and provides a more efficacious therapy while also decreasing potential for untargeted and undesired effects. The controlled and autonomous delivery tilizing such a porous highcapacity loading material ultimately could reduce dependence on patient compliance. In this work, we use novel MOFs NU-901 and NU-1000 (NU, Northwestern University) to engineer a system to exhibit desirable slow-release profiles. We have successfully encapsulated small-molecules such as calcein with remarkably high loading efficiencies. Subsequent drug release studies show prolonged temporal control over release. We have incorporated recent techniques in super resolution microscopy, including structuredillumination microscopy (SIM), to better understand the release of material from the MOF’s porosity in-vitro and tracking the uptake of MOF inside HeLa cells. SIM allows for improved imaging speeds while also doubling the resolution of wide-field fluorescence imaging. Cytotoxicity of the material components has been evaluated to project feasibility of future applications in-vivo. Through this work, we show how the efficacy and efficiency of drug therapy will be improved with implementation of these highly porous and biodegradable materials.
University of Cambridge
Michelle Teplensky is a 3rd year PhD Candidate and Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge, UK in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. In the Adsorption & Advanced Materials Group she works on the development of advanced materials including novel nanoporous materials for cancer therapy. Her research specifically focuses on the application of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to siRNA and drug delivery through strategic design and engineering of the composite system. She is a cofounder and executive member of a lab-based start-up, Tarsis Technology, whose goal is to commercialize recently developed technology that allows for slower and more controlled delivery of drugs using MOFs. She has a pending patent in this area. In her spare time Michelle serves as Vice President of her Scholarship Council and plays for the Cambridge University field hockey team. Upon completion of her PhD, she is interested in pursuing the development of gene delivery and medical device technology. Michelle obtained her B.S in Chemical-Biological Engineering from MIT in 2014.