Engineering Glucose-Responsive Insulin Delivery across Length and Time
Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by poor glycemic control which often leads to severe complications including cardiovascular disease and kidney failure. Many diabetic patients continually monitor their blood sugar and self-administer multiple daily doses of exogenous insulin to combat hyperglycemia. To reduce this patient burden, limit the occurrence of hypoglycemic events, and better mimic native insulin activity, therapies which can self-regulate insulin delivery are an attractive option. In this lecture, Volpatti will discuss three different glucose-responsive insulin delivery systems that she developed during her Ph.D. toward achieving this goal. These polymeric delivery systems encapsulate and store insulin until it is needed to combat elevated blood sugar levels. In normal glucose conditions, insulin release is minimal but is rapidly (< 1 h) released in response to hyperglycemia in a diabetic mouse model. More generally, the platforms developed here may be used for the encapsulation and on-demand release of other biological therapeutics to advance the field of precision medicine.
Lisa R. Volpatti is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the laboratory of Jeffrey Hubbell at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Her research interests broadly include biomaterials for drug delivery applications, with a specific focus on inducing tolerance in autoimmune diseases during her postdoctoral studies. She recently completed her Ph.D. in the Anderson and Langer Labs in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT on a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Her doctoral thesis focused on the development of glucose-responsive materials for self-regulated insulin delivery. Prior to joining MIT, Lisa received her Master of Philosophy in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK on a Whitaker International Fellowship and her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh on a University Honors College Full Tuition Scholarship.