Membrane Biophysics Talk: Lipids as a Material for Nanomedicine

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Dr. Sherry Leung (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) will be speaking to PHY 317 on Monday, September 10, 8:00 AM, in Hagfors 109. Dr. Leung is a membrane biophysicist and will be discussing lipids as a material in nanomedicine. The talk is open to the public. Abstract below.

Abstract: Nanomedicine is the medical application of nano-sized materials and devices. Despite the numerous advances in the development of soft materials for nanomedicine, the number of systems that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is surprisingly low. The majority of FDA approved nano-drug delivery systems are based on liposomes – a hollow spherical shell made up of a lipid bilayer. In addition to liposomes, the amphiphilic nature of lipids also allows them to self-assemble into other more complex structures. These other structures have a number of desirable properties for nanomedicine such as i) high surface-to-volume ratio, ii) capacity to encapsulate high loads of hydrophobic and hydrophilic solutes, as well as iii) membrane fusion properties that facilitate delivery. I will talk about my research on developing lipid materials for gene therapy applications.