ChBE Seminar Series: ​William Olbricht

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Jeffery Klauda

Convection-Enhanced Delivery of Nanoparticles to Neural Tissue

William Olbricht
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Cornell University

Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is a novel method of delivering drugs to the brain to treat primary brain tumors and certain other neurological disorders. In CED, compounds are infused directly into the tissue interstitium through a needle or cannula implanted in the brain. Because CED bypasses the blood-brain barrier, it can deliver a variety of compounds that cannot be delivered systemically, including proteins, viral vectors, nucleotides, and molecules packaged inside nanoparticles. The effectiveness of CED therapy relies on achieving high infusion rates and controlling the spatial and temporal distribution of infused material in heterogeneous brain tissue. However, practical challenges involving fluid dynamics and mass transfer can compromise the effectiveness of CED in clinical practice.

Several strategies to enhance the performance of CED will be discussed, including the development of microfabricated catheters containing microfluidic circuits that permit high infusion rates. The microfabricated devices are smaller than needles, they can be designed to deliver several therapeutic fluids sequentially, and they can be made flexible so that they can be implanted in the brain for long-term therapy. To enhance penetration of the infused material into the brain, targeted tissue can be exposed to safe levels of ultrasound, which has been shown to increase mass transfer. Finally, to understand local fluid dynamics and mass transfer during CED, two-photon microscopy has been used to visualize fluid motion deep in the cortex of anesthetized animals.

Audience: Campus 

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