This week, Liangfang Zhang (NanoEngineering) was named one of “35 Innovators Under 35” by MIT Technology Review. As one of the “Pioneers,” he was recognized for his work with natural membranes in drug delivery systems:
Zhang derives red-blood-cell membranes from blood samples and uses them to coat polymer nanoparticles. Because these particles look like red blood cells on the surface, they can fool the immune system; loaded with drugs, they serve as robust and long-lived drug carriers. An unexpected bonus: they can also act like nanoscale sponges to suck up toxic proteins produced by infectious bacteria or introduced by snake or insect venom. If the particles flood the bloodstream, they will divert most of the toxin away from actual cells.
Jacobs School of Engineering press release: Liangfang Zhang Makes MIT Technology Review’s Annual Innovators Under 35 List
Some recent articles from the Zhang Research Group:
Fang, R.; Hu, C-M.; Chen, K.; Luk, B.; Carpenter, C.; Gao, W.; Li, S.; Zhang, D-E.; Lu, W.; Zhang, L.* “Lipid-insertion enables targeting functionalization of erythocyte membrane-cloaked nanoparticles“, Nanoscale 2013, in press. –OPEN ACCESS
Gao, W.; Hu, C-M.; Fang, R.; Luk, B.; Su, J.; Zhang, L.* “Surface functionalization of gold nanoparticles with red blood cell membranes“, Advanced Materials 2013, 25, 3549-3553.
Hu, C-M.; Fang, R.; Copp, J.; Luk, B.; Zhang, L.* “A biomimetic nanosponge that absorbs pore-forming toxins“, Nature Nanotechnology 2013, 8, 336-340.