Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Development of Controlled Release System for Analgesics"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2015 - DURI
Research area(s):
Biomaterials, Polymer Science, Nanotechnology, Cell/Tissue Engineering
Project Description:
One of challenges in current analgesics treatments is how to achieve safe and effective intra-articular medication with a longer duration of action than current medications offer. The unique properties of injectable hydrogels have sparked great interest for controlled drug release applications. One of the benefits of hydrogels for drug delivery is largely pharmacokinetic specifically that a depot formulation is created where drugs slowly elute, maintaining a sustained local concentration of drug in the target tissues over an extended period. In this project, biodegradable and biocompatible injectable hydrogels will be prepared and characterized. In vitro chondrotoxicity study using cartilage explants and in vivo efficacy using an animal model will be also investigated. This project will establish a new therapeutic paradigm for simplifying post-operative management through reducing the frequency of repeat dosing of systemically administered analgesics as well as reduce the risk of side effects.
Expected Student Contributions:
Our research group welcomes highly motivated undergraduate students to learn and make contributions in translational biotechnology. The intern will closely work with a postdoctoral fellow in our lab and assist in the synthesis, characterization, and optimization of polymer hydrogels to achieve appropriate combination of physico-chemical and biological properties. The student will also gain experience on biomaterial evaluation both in vitro and in vivo.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
GPA > 3.5. Highly motivated, responsible, and dedicated learner and researcher.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Deng, Meng
agricultural and biological engineering

Student Supervisor

Liangju Kuang

Cooperating Faculty

Jeff Ko
Veterinary Clinical Sciences