Hiller Professor of Bioengineering, Harvard University

Samir Mitragotri

Prof. Mitragotri has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of biological barriers and drug delivery. His research has advanced fundamental understanding of biological barriers and has led to the development of new materials as well as technologies for diagnosis and treatment of various ailments including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, skin conditions and infections, among others. Many of his technologies have advanced to human clinical studies and products. At the same time, fundamental understanding developed through his research has advanced the understanding of the biology of barriers in the human body. His research has made particular impact on the following areas:

Transdermal drug delivery

Prof. Mitragotri has established a fundamental knowledge-base of transport properties of skin including structure-permeation relationships. He has also pioneered a large number of technologies including low-frequency ultrasound, pulsed microjet injector, high throughput screening (INSIGHT), skin penetrating peptides (SPACE peptide) and ionic liquids (CAGE) for transdermal delivery of proteins, peptides and nucleic acids, which otherwise have to be injected using needles.

Oral drug delivery

Prof. Mitragotri has developed fundamental understanding of transepithelial transport in the intestine. He has also established an understanding of the effect of penetration enhancers on permeation across the intestinal epithelium. He has invented novel technologies, in particular intestinal patches and a novel permeation enhancer (PPS) for oral delivery of proteins such as insulin and calcitonin.

Bio-inspired nanoparticles for drug delivery

Prof. Mitragotri has developed unique bio-inspired nanoparticles with engineered shapes and mechanical properties to address immunological hurdles in the body. Rod- and disc-shaped particles exhibit enhanced circulation and targeting to cancer and inflamed endothelium. Platelet-mimetic particles (SynPlats) offer potential therapeutic agents for targeted hemostasis.

Bio-Synthetic Hybrid systems for drug delivery and Immunotherapy

Prof. Mitragotri has developed hybrid systems that use synthetic nanoparticles hitchhiking on circulatory cells. Nanoparticles hitchhiking on red blood cells avoid immune clearance and allow delivery to tissues including lungs. Nanoparticles hitchhiking on monocytes readily cross tissue transport barriers and allow delivery to brain, tumors and lungs for targeted drug delivery and immunotherapy.