News & Events

Custom-Built Artificial Cells and Tissues for Drug Discovery

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 12:45 to 14:00
Dr. Katherine S. Elvira
Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria
Event Category: 
LMC - Lectures in Modern Chemistry
Dr. Russ Algar
Chemistry B250

Cells are complex and it is not always possible to know what effect each component of the cell has on drug transport. The goal of my research is to use microfluidic technologies to build bespoke artificial cells and tissues from the bottom up, starting with the cell membrane and then adding other cellular components such as transporter proteins and the cell microenvironment. This allows us to quantify how each component of a cell affects the uptake of drugs. We use these artificial cells to mimic how an orally administered drug moves from the intestine into an intestinal cell, and then from the cell into the blood stream, to mimic how the cell membrane changes during cancer and to build artificial tissues such as the blood brain barrier on a chip. We want our new in vitro models to help us predict the in vivo drug behaviour.