We are pleased to welcome
Professor Paula Hammond
2020-21 Distinguished Lecturer
April 28, 2021
12:00 – 1:00 PM Pacific Time
Online. Register Here
Professor Paula T. Hammond
Koch Professor of Engineering
Department Head of Chemical Engineering
Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research, MIT
Programming Medical Treatment One Nanolayer at a Time
Professor Paula T. Hammond is the David H. Koch Chair Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Her research in nanomedicine encompasses the development of new biomaterials to enable drug delivery from surfaces with spatio-temporal control. She also investigates novel responsive polymer architectures for targeted nanoparticle drug and gene delivery. She is known for her work on nanoparticles to target cancer, and thin film coatings to release factors that regenerate bone and assist in wound healing. Professor Paula Hammond was elected into the National Academy of Science in 2019, the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, and the 2013 Class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has also recently received the AIChE Margaret Rousseau Award. Professor Hammond has published over 330 papers, and over 20 patent applications. She is the co- founder and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of LayerBio, Inc. and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Moderna Therapeutics.
By alternating positively and negatively charged molecules in sequence, it is possible to generate thin films one nano-layer at a time while controlling the composition of the film with great precision. This electrostatic layer-by-layer (LBL) process is a simple and elegant method of constructing highly tailored ultrathin polymer and organic-inorganic composite thin films. We have used this method to develop thin films that can encapsulate and release proteins and biologic drugs such as growth factors with highly preserved activity from the surfaces of biomedical implants or wound dressings with sustained release over periods of several days. We have engineered coatings that yield release of different drugs, DNA or protein, resulting in highly tunable multi-agent delivery nanolayered release systems for tissue engineering, biomedical devices, and wound healing applications. Depending on the nature of the LbL assembly, we can generate thin films that rapidly release proteins or peptides within minutes for rapid hemostasis to stop bleeding in soldiers on the battlefield, or release growth factors that help to regenerate bone in defects where bone may no longer grow. Finally, the manipulation of charge to target other tissues, in particular cartilage, is an important means of targeting the joint for osteoarthritis. We have generated unimolecular charged systems that can be precisely tuned to achieve deep penetration into avascular tissues such as cartilage to enable extended release treatments for cartilage regeneration. These and other uses of controlled polyelectrolytes and their complexes for delivery within tissues and across barriers will be addressed. We also have developed a modular nanoparticle approach using liposomal core particles and layering them with an electrostatic layer-by-layer (LBL) process in a simple and elegant method of constructing highly tailored ultrathin polymer coatings. The resulting LbL nanoparticles (NPs) have negatively charged outer layers that present polyelectrolytes such as dextran sulfate or hyaluronic acid in a hydrated brush arrangement that enables hydration, steric repulsion, colloidal and serum stability, and specific or non-specific targeting. We have determined a subset of polyanions that have high affinity and selectivity for ovarian cancer cells and, based on the polyanion composition, will cause trafficking either to the outer surface or to intracellular compartments in ovarian cancer cells. We have used this unique ability to control trafficking to create LbL NPs that can deliver IL-12 from the outer surfaces of ovarian cancer cells, thus generating highly localized depots that efficiently release cytokine and upregulate the immune response in high grade serous ovarian cancer, a cancer which has not previously benefitted from immunotherapeutic approaches. In vitro and in vivo results will be discussed, as well as release mechanisms, toxicity studies and clinical outlook for these targeted systems.