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Development of a Drug Delivery Elective for Chemical Engineers

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Design, Creativity and Critical Thinking in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.414.1 - 24.414.7



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Paper Authors


Christopher R. Anderson Lafayette College

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Chris Anderson is an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Lafayette College. He was previously at the College of New Jersey, where he helped found the biomedical engineering department, developed courses in medical imaging, drug delivery, and biotransport, and mentored related senior design projects. He led product development at Targeson, Inc., a start-up company where he developed targeted contrast agents for ultrasound imaging of tumor growth. He earned his and M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia, where his research focused on the molecular mechanisms of blood vessel growth, and he earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from Bucknell University.

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Development of Drug Delivery Elective for Chemical EngineersAn upper-level technical elective is being developed to introduce undergraduate chemicalengineering students to the interdisciplinary field of drug delivery. The objective of the course isto introduce students to the chemical engineering principles relevant to drug delivery and thecurrent research trends in the field. The elective incorporates traditional lecturing offundamental mass transport principles and interactive learning experiences based on hands-onlaboratory exercises and open discussion of relevant peer-reviewed literature. The course isdivided into four modules that focus on pharmacokinetic compartment modeling, diffusion indrug delivery systems, the design and application of drug delivery systems, and the developmentof an SBIR-style proposal for investigating novel drug delivery strategies.Mathematical models of non-steady state mass transport are developed to modelpharmacokinetic processes and predict tissue solute concentrations. MATLAB is used to solvesystems of differential equations and plot tissue concentrations over time. Mathematical modelsof steady-state mass transport in drug delivery systems are developed in rectangular, sphericaland cylindrical coordinates to model controlled release in systems of various geometries. Thedesign and application of current drug delivery systems, including controlled-release polymers,liposomes, and lipid-shelled microbubbles will be explored through the evaluation of peer-reviewed literature. Students will develop a research proposal modeled after the NIH SBIRmechanism that includes the methods required to fabricate various drug delivery systems and anexperimental design proposal to investigate efficacy with in vitro assays and in vivo models ofdisease.Additionally, a multi-week module is being developed to experimentally measure and analyzecontrolled release from an alginate polymer system. In the first week, a red-dye is used as a modeldrug and release is characterized from alginate beads of various concentrations withspectrophotometry over the course of 60 minutes. In the second week, albumin is used as a modelprotein therapy and the mass release is characterized over the course of several days. Theconcentration of released albumin is measured with a modified Lowry assay. In the final week, abiologically active protein, fibroblast growth factor (FGF), is loaded into alginate beads and FGFrelease is analyzed with an ELISA assay. The functionality of released FGF will be assessed byinvestigating murine fibroblast proliferation over time with an absorbance based MTT assay.This course is currently in development and consequently represents a “work-in-progress.”

Anderson, C. R. (2014, June), Development of a Drug Delivery Elective for Chemical Engineers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20305

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