Design of Smart Drug Delivery Platform Guided by Multiscale Computational Modeling  by Prof Ying Li

Abstract: For decades, extensive efforts have been made by a large cadre of scientists on developing cancer nanomedicines. However, there are less than 10 products on the market. The nanoparticle (NP)-mediated drug delivery involves self-assembly of NPs, encapsulation of drug molecules into NPs, blood circulation of NPs, tumor extravasation of drug loaded nanocarriers and their cellular uptake, etc. Such a tough journey leads to by average only 0.7% of the injected dose through nanocarriers delivered to tumors. The challenges and complexity of this problem call for a convergent approach to bring together substantially different science and engineering disciplines, including but not limited to, computer simulations, biomedical engineering, pharmaceutical science, chemistry, material science, physics, etc. Current bottlenecks in design of the drug-carrying particles are the lack of knowledge about: (i) synthesis of delivery vehicle/platform; (ii) microcirculation of drug carriers (NPs) in the blood flow and their subsequent adhesion to vessel wall; (iii) tumor extravasation of NPs; and (iv) endocytosis and exocytosis of NPs. In this talk, I will demonstrate a multiscale computational framework, by combining all-atomistic simulation, coarse-grained molecular dynamics and the immersed finite element method, to systematically elucidate the underlying physical mechanisms behind these phenomena. The multiscale computational framework has been demonstrated to successfully capture the self-assembly of drug delivery platform, margination of NPs in the microcirculation, adhesion of NPs to vessel wall under shear flow, as well as the receptor-mediated endocytosis of NPs. All the simulation results have been further corroborated by experimental observations, indicating that the size, shape, surface and stiffness (4S) of nanoparticles are the key design parameters. The present multiscale modeling framework can help us to optimize and design more efficient drug carriers in the near future.

Biography: Dr. Ying Li joined the University of Connecticut in 2015 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in 2015 from Northwestern University, focusing on the multiscale modeling of soft matter and related biomedical applications. His current research interests are: multiscale modeling, computational material design, mechanics and physics of soft matter, design of mechanical metamaterials and targeted drug delivery. Dr. Li’s achievements in research have been widely recognized by fellowships and awards including Best Paper award from ASME Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology (2015), International Institute for Nanotechnology Outstanding Researcher Award (2014), Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad (2012) and Ryan Fellowship (2011). He has authored and co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, including Physical Review Letters, Biomaterials, Nanoscale, Macromolecules, Soft Matter, Polymer, Journal of Mechanics and Physics of Solids etc. He has been invited as reviewer for more than 50 international journals, such as Nature Communications, ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials, Carbon, Macromolecules, Journal of Physical Chemistry, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Nanoscale, Chemical Communications and Nanomedicine. He currently serves as the Topic Editor of MDPI-Polymers, an international leading journal in polymer field.

Date(s) - Aug 21, 2018
10:00 am - 11:00 am


37-124 Engineering IV
420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles CA

 UCLA Samueli Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering