for Controlled Drug Release
City College: C. Steiner
Prof. Steiner has patented a new class of materials, called two-phase hydrogels, with interfacial and transport properties that can be exploited to great advantage in emerging technologies such as controlled drug release. The materials are characterized by hydrophobic microdomains dispersed throughout a water-swollen polymer network. The microdomains can serve as reservoirs for drug compounds permeating these gels. Drug is released from the gel to the surroundings by diffusion. However, the driving force for diffusion, namely, the concentration of the solute in the bulk gel, can be kept nearly constant for prolonged times if the gels are engineered such that the interfacial flux of drug from the microdomains to the bulk balances the diffusive flux out of the gel.
This unique system overcomes many of the disadvantages of currently available drug release platforms. Our research program addresses all aspects of the rational design, fabrication, testing, and modeling of these new materials.