Prof. Dr. Harm-Anton Klok

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Institut des Matériaux, Laboratoire des Polymères

STI - IMX - LP MXD 112 (Batiment MXD), Station 12

CH-1015 Lausanne (Switzerland)


DATE - 24.09.2019

TIME - 3:00 PM

VENUE - First Floor Seminar Room



The use of (polymer-based) nanocarriers has provided manifold opportunities to extend blood circulation times of drugs as well as to control drug release and enhance targeting. This presentation will commence with reviewing some of the progress that has been made over the last 50 years in using polymer nanocarriers for drug delivery. The second part of this talk will then highlight some of the unique characteristics of livings cells, which potentially can be harnessed to even further enhance polymer nanomedicine. Cells provide attractive opportunities to develop innovative drug delivery systems. Red blood cells e.g. are uniquely designed to circulate in the bloodstream for extended periods of time. Immune cells, in particular lymphocytes from the adaptive immune system, are attractive as they potentially provide possibilities to home in to the disease site in a highly selective manner. Modifying the surfaces of these cells with synthetic polymers or polymer nanoparticles provides manifold opportunities to further enhance their functionality. Successful polymer cell surface engineering, obviously, requires conjugation chemistries that proceed under biological conditions and in high yields and without compromising cell viability and function. This presentation will discuss various polymer cell surface modification strategies and compare these different approaches in terms of the possibilities they offer to modify cell surfaces as well as their impact on cell viability and function. It will be shown that under appropriate conditions live cells can be surface modified with synthetic polymers while retaining their viability and functional properties.