Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series
Simulation of Natural Biological Processes for Innovative Biotechnologies
(Drug DELIVERY Specific Seminar)
- Meixiong Wu, MD, PhD
- Harvard Medical School
Natural biological processes have evolved to maintain a delicate balance among different kingdoms and their living environment in a very smart way. These natural bioprocesses often provide us with fantastic ideas to develop and deliver drugs or medicines safely and efficaciously. In mimicking the nature clearance of inhaled pollutes, we engineer pulmonary surfactant(PS)-biomimetic liposomes to deliver small molecules into both alveolar macrophage and epithelial cells in the lung without breaching the mucosal barrier, which effectively circumvents any unwanted inflammation in the lung. An agonist for the stimulator of interferon gene (STING) was encapsulated in the PS-biomimetic liposomes to stimulate protective immune responses similar to viral infection but free of any virus-induced pathology. By mimicking these two natural processes, we develop a safe, powerful mucosal adjuvant that elicits fast and broad immune protection against divergent influenza viruses after a single immunization. As we know, the current flu vaccines protect only against the homologous virus, but not flu variants or emerging viruses. The vaccination is effective two weeks after immunization. In marked contrast, only two days after our PS-liposomes-STING agonist were administrated with the current H1N1 flu vaccines, strong cross-protection was elicited against distant H1N1 and heterosubtypic H3N2, pre-pandemic H5N1 and H7N9 viruses. This novel, safe, and powerful adjuvant shows great promise for universal influenza vaccines.
We also combined two natural modalities: blue light and oregano essential oil to eliminate an array of multidrug-resistant bacteria regardless of whether the bacteria are in planktonic culture, biofilms, or persistent status or whether or not they are susceptible to antibiotics. A major ingredient of the oil, carvacrol, was found to be photo-catalytically oxidized to a “photosensitizer” that killed bacteria much more efficiently than carvacrol itself in the presence of blue light. Strikingly, the phototoxic reaction occurs exclusively in bacteria, making this novel microbicidal alternative safe and powerful in battles against multi-drug-resistant pathogens.
Hosted by Quanyin Hu