Dr. Yong Wang Makes Widely Lauded Breakthrough in the Field of Drug Delivery

wang_yon_profileUConn Chemical Engineering Professor Yong Wang and his students (Mark Battig and Boonchoy Soontornworajit)  have made innovative and invaluable improvements to the drug-loaded implantable hydrogels used for drug delivery.  Previously, implants could be externally triggered to release medication to diseased tissue at a given time, but such implants could only deliver one single drug.  With Dr. Wang’s research, implants can now deliver multiple drugs, one at a time, at specified intervals. To create such gels, Dr. Wang and his research team added DNA aptamers to the existing gels. To release the drug, the gel is injected with a short DNA strand that binds to the protein-binding site of the aptamer, triggering it to release the protein. The gel releases a given drug depending on the DNA sequence injected. This innovation will allow medical releasetime_chartprofessionals to both treat complex disease and facilitate the healing process in stages.
This research was published in JACS, one of the most prestigious journals in the chemistry and chemical engineering fields and highlighted in the prestigious magazines, C&EN and the Royal Society of Chemistry. The paper detailing the research is entitled “Programmable Release of Multiple Protein Drugs from Aptamer-Functionalized Hydrogels via Nucleic Acid Hybridization”.