Posted: February 27, 2009

Frontiers in biomaterials-based drug and gene delivery

(Nanowerk News) The National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) held an international symposium on February 27th, entitled “Frontiers in biomaterials-based drug and gene delivery”, featuring a forum on drug and gene delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine by leading experts in biomaterials from around the world. This international symposium aims to facilitate international interactions and collaborations in bioengineering and further enhance Taiwan’s international recognition in the fields of biomaterials, drug delivery, gene therapy, and biomedical engineering.
The symposium had four main topics themed on: (1) the new era of biomaterials for controlled drug and gene delivery, (2) smart biomaterials for controlled drug delivery, (3) biomaterials for gene delivery and tissue engineering, and (4) novel approaches to facilitate drug/gene delivery.
The symposium invited 2 world renowned scholars Dr. Allan Hoffman and Dr. Patrick Stayton, both from University of Washington at Seattle, to give lectures at NCKU on “Origins and evolution of controlled drug delivery systems” and “Intracellular delivery of nucleic acid and protein/peptide drugs” respectively. There were two other outstanding speakers from India and Hong Kong as well as many experts from Taiwan to give lectures of their latest research results.
The symposium today (2/27) ran from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., starting with welcoming remarks from the Academician and the NCKU President, Dr. Michael, M.C. Lai, who especially stated that this symposium featured a series of seminars would stimulate researchers and students to gain invaluable insights into bioengineering as well as to encourage more international and domestic collaborations with academic institutions as well as with industry. President Lai also expected this symposium can also open opportunities for mutual understandings of progress and objectives in biotech companies and academia so that the chance of making exciting research results into practical medical/industrial applications is highly possible. “This essential collaboration would greatly boost Taiwan’s competitiveness in bioengineering internationally,” said President Lai.
Dr. Allan Hoffman delivered the keynote speech, clearly describing the evolution of controlled drug delivery systems (DDS) since 1960s. He mentioned the early DDS from macro-scale system to micro-scale one. He especially described the current and pioneering DDS on nano-scale carriers, namely targeting DDS and speculated the nano-scale DDS carriers as the leading one in this field headed in the future.
Dr. Allan Hoffman, currently a chair professor of the Department of Bioengineering at University of Washington (UW) at Seattle, obtained his BS, MS and ScD all in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has founded the first biomaterial research center in the West Coast of US in Seattle, applying the concept of chemical engineering to biomedical engineering.
Dr. Hoffman was the founder fellow of Society of Biomaterials and American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Awarded with Founder’s Award by Society of Biomaterials, Dr. Hoffman’s works have been indispensable in medical applications and his life-time achievements have been publicly recognized with many awards including being a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) of the USA as well as more than 350 publication and 21 patents.
Dr. Patrick Stayton, a distinguished professor in Bioengineering of the University of Washington at Seattle, also delivered a keynote speech on “Intracellular delivery of nucleic acid and protein/peptide drugs”. Two other invited speakers from overseas included Dr. J. Muraleedharan from University of Kerala in India as well as Dr. Li Pei from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
This symposium was jointly organized by Institute of Clinical Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Institute of Clinical Pharmacy, and sponsored by Ministry of Education and National Science Council.
Source: National Cheng Kung University
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