Research Project Title:
Gastrointestinal Drug Delivery
abstract:Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a chronic set of conditions that affect over 3 million Americans. Treatment of the disease involves life-long medication which can cause major side effects due to frequent dosing and systemic exposure of the drugs. Recent studies have suggested probiotics as an effective alternative treatment, but retention of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract remains difficult. Targeted extended-release drug delivery systems can transform our capacity to treat IBD. Through this project, we intend to design inflammation-targeting hydrogels that can encapsulate probiotics and target them to the gastrointestinal tract for extended periods of time.
In this project, I have the opportunity to combine my previous research in characterizing these polymeric hydrogels with a microbiome-focused treatment. I am excited to work on existing gaps in IBD treatment through this superUROP.