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Targeting improved drug delivery efficiency

Research Achievements

Targeting improved drug delivery efficiency

The delivery of drugs into cells has long been challenged by cell membrane impermeability and toxicity issues. Although the Telfer lab (Vet. and Animal Sci.) was able to use TAT cell penetrating peptide to deliver a protein drug that directs hematopoietic stem cells to proliferate in culture, drug delivery was inefficient and required high dosage. Targeting improved delivery efficiency, researchers turned to the Tew lab (Polymer Sci. and Eng.) for polymer engineering and analysis expertise. Interdisciplinary collaborators including Paejonette Jacobs (IGERT trainee, Telfer lab) and Ozgul Tezgel (IGERT associate, Tew lab) have engineered polymers that successfully enter cells, achieve efficient delivery, and exhibit low toxicity. And, unlike the TAT peptide, the polymers can deliver fully folded proteins into cells. Collaborators are now testing the cell penetrating polymers for ability to deliver active protein drug into cells and elicit an appropriate biological response.