Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, selected Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry Joseph DeSimone to receive the 2012 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation. The Chubb Award is designed to honor and promote creativity among scientists and engineers.
Professor DeSimone was selected for successfully adapting lithographic techniques from the computer industry to create a new technology for fabricating precisely defined micro- and nanoparticles for applications including new vaccines and therapeutics.
In an interview with Cathy Clabby, American Scientist Contributing Editor, DeSimone describes his journey as an innovative and entrepreneurial scientist, the power of cross-disciplinary research, the process of moving innovation from the laboratory to society, the value of diversity in a research team, his exciting collaboration with the Gates Foundation, and the challenges to future innovation.
In an article published in Nano Letters, the DeSimone Group, in collaboration with the departments of Cell and Developmental Biology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, the Institute for Advanced Materials, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Institute for Nanomedicine, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, and the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, varied PEGylation density on the surface of hydrogel PRINT nanoparticles and systematically observed the effects on protein adsorption, macrophage uptake, and circulation time.
Interestingly, the density of PEGylation necessary to promote a long-circulating particle was dramatically less than what has been previously reported. Overall, the methodology used provides a rapid screening technique to predict particle behavior in vivo and the results deliver further insight into what PEG density is necessary to facilitate long-circulation.