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UD Researchers Demonstrate that Processing can Affect Size of Nanocarriers for Targeted Drug Delivery

Significant advances have been made in chemotherapy over the past decade, but targeting drugs to cancer cells while avoiding healthy tissues continues to be a major challenge.

Nanotechnology has unlocked new pathways for targeted drug delivery, including the use of nanocarriers, or capsules, that can transport cargoes of small-molecule therapeutics to specific locations in the body.

The catch? These carriers are tiny, and it matters just how tiny they are. Change the size from 10 nanometers to 100 nanometers, and the drugs can end up in the wrong cells or organs and thereby damage healthy tissues.

A common assumption is that once a nanocarrier is created, it maintains its size and shape on the shelf as well as in the body.

However, recent work by a group of researchers led by Thomas H. Epps, III, and Millicent Sullivan in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware has shown that routine procedures in handling and processing nanocarrier solutions can have a significant influence on the size and shape of these miniscule structures. Read more...


Epps Awarded the 2014 Young Investigator Award

Thomas H. Epps, III, is the 2014 Young Investigator Award recipient because of his growing influence in the field of polymer physics. This field studies complex macromolecular interactions, down to the nanometer and micrometer levels.

Epps joined Sigma Xi in 1998. He is the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a joint appointment in Materials Science at the University of Delaware.

The Epps Research Group designs, synthesizes, and characterizes new polymeric materials that have molecular level self-assembly. Materials being investigated by the group have a range of potential applications, from improving batteries to making drug delivery more targeted to patients’ needs.

“He has, in a relatively short time, established a world-recognized and highly collaborative research program at Delaware by distinguishing himself as one of the rising stars in polymer and soft matter physics,” wrote University of Delaware Professors Darrin J. Pochan and Abraham Lenhoff in their nomination letter. Read more...


NSSA elects UD professors Glyde, Wagner to fellowship program

University of Delaware professors Henry Glyde and Norman Wagner have been selected as fellows of the Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA).

Founded in 1992, the NSSA is comprised of more than 1,000 members worldwide who help promote neutron scattering research. Designation as an NSSA Fellow distinguishes Glyde and Wagner among the top one half of one percent of their peers.

Wagner, Alvin B. and Julia O. Stiles Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was nominated for “outstanding scholarship in neutron scattering methods applied to soft matter science” as well as education and academic leadership and service. Wagner, who currently directs the Center for Neutron Science (CNS), is known for developing new neutron scattering methods used internationally along with his work with STF-Armor, a novel nanocomposite co-invented with U.S. Army Research Laboratory scientists.

The professors will be inducted during the American Conference on Neutron Scattering in Knoxville, Tenn., in June. Read more...


See Eric Furst's interview with Pat Ryan on "Space Station Live"

Space Station Live commentator Pat Ryan talks to Dr. Eric Furst, Principal Investigator for the InSPACE experiment, from the University of Delaware. InSpace, or Investigating the Structure of Paramagnetic Aggregates from Colloidal Emulsions, studies the fundamental behavior of magnetic colloidal fluids under the influence of various magnetic fields.

These fluids are classified as smart materials which transition to a solid-like state by the formation and cross-linking of microstructures in the presence of a magnetic field. This technology has promise to improve the ability to design structures, such as bridges and buildings, and to better withstand earthquake damage.

Furst describes colloids as "really interesting building blocks of matter to assemble other structures from or other useful, functional types of materials - 'genius materials' as some people have called them." Read more...


UD's Wagner to Lecture at Smithsonian's "Going to Extremes" Seminar

The University of Delaware’s Norman J. Wagner will be a featured speaker at the Smithsonian’s “Going to Extremes: The Protective Powers of High-Tech Materials” evening seminar on Monday, Jan. 27, from 6:45-8:45p.m. The seminar will focus on how new materials are being custom-designed to respond to some of the most extreme conditions.

Wagner, the Alvin B. and Julia O. Stiles Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will discuss his research on liquid armor and its potential to protect soldiers in combat. The event is presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute and the White House Office of Science and Technology.

Other speakers include Odile Madden, a research scientist from the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, and Cathleen Lewis, curator of international space programs and spacesuits at the Air and Space Museum. Wagner’s work with shear thickening fluid was featured in an issue of the University of Delaware Research magazine. Read more...


UD's Epps invited participant at EU-US Frontiers in Engineering Symposium

The University of Delaware’s Thomas H. Epps, III, is one of 30 early-career engineers nationwide invited to attend the 2013 European Union-United States Frontiers of Engineering Symposium to be held Nov. 21-23 in Chantilly, France.

Organized by the National Academy of Engineering and the European Council of Applied Sciences and Engineering, the symposium will focus on nanosensors, big data, the future of transportation, and wireless broadband. A total of 60 participants, 30 from the United States and 30 from Europe, will discuss their leading-edge research.

“It is an opportunity to share my research and to establish a professional network with emerging engineers, scientists and others across the globe conducting impactful research in fields outside of chemical engineering,” said Epps, the Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

A chemical engineer by training, Epps’ UD research focuses on designing, building and characterizing new polymers (long chain molecules containing many chemically bonded units). Currently, his group is studying polymers that self-assemble into periodic and nanometer-scale structures for applications including conducting membranes, surface templates and drug delivery carriers. Read more...





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