Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2015
For outstanding contributions to creating and advancing biomimetic nanomaterials for drug delivery to improve treatment of cancers and infectious diseases

Engineered Nanoparticles Target Various Biological Targets

Via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | October 30, 2023

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have developed modular nanoparticles that can be easily customized to target different biological entities such as tumors, viruses, or toxins. The surface of the nanoparticles is engineered to host any biological molecules of choice, making it possible to tailor the nanoparticles for a wide array of applications, ranging from targeted drug delivery to neutralizing biological agents.

The findings are published in Nature Nanotechnology in an article titled, A modular approach to enhancing cell membrane-coated nanoparticle functionality using genetic engineering… Continue reading.

Microscopic Robots in the Lungs Treat Bacterial Pneumonia in Mice

Via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | September 23, 2022

The last decade has brought a lot of attention to the use of microscopic robots (microrobots or nanorobots) for biomedical applications. Now, nanoengineers have developed microrobots that can swim around in the lungs and deliver medication to be used to treat bacterial pneumonia. A new study shows that the microrobots safely eliminated pneumonia-causing bacteria in the lungs of mice and resulted in 100% survival. By contrast, untreated mice all died within three days after infection.

The results are published Nature Materials in the paper, “Nanoparticle-modified microrobots for in vivo antibiotic delivery to treat acute bacterial pneumonia.”

The microrobots are made using click chemistry to attach antibiotic-loaded neutrophil membrane-coated polymeric nanoparticles to natural microalgae. The hybrid microrobots could be used for the active delivery of antibiotics in the lungs in vivo… Continue reading.

Can “Nanosponges” Help Treat Patients With Coronavirus?

Via Forbes | June 17, 2020

With news yesterday out of the UK that the inexpensive and widely available steroid dexamethasone significantly reduced deaths in coronavirus patients who are intubated and those requiring oxygen, following published evidence last month that the antiviral Remdesivir shortened time to recovery, the search for a breakthrough drug or approach that improves survival before approval of a viable vaccine remains illusive.

Add to this the potential for the virus to mutate—already with multiple strains— the search for a new approach would be ideal.

Now, researchers at UC San Diego have pioneered a novel pathway for treating infections using “nanosponges”—a technology that may hold promise for treating patients with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19… Continue reading.

Nanoparticles Can Make Medicines More Effective

Via MDT | September 17, 2015

Nanoparticles disguised as human platelets could greatly enhance the healing power of drug treatments for cardiovascular disease and systemic bacterial infections. These platelet-mimicking nanoparticles, developed by engineers at the University of California, San Diego, are capable of delivering drugs to targeted sites in the body — particularly injured blood vessels, as well as organs infected by harmful bacteria. Engineers demonstrated that by delivering the drugs just to the areas where the drugs were needed, these platelet copycats greatly increased the therapeutic effects of drugs that were administered to diseased rats and mice.

The research, led by nanoengineers at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, was published online Sept. 16 in Nature.

“This work addresses a major challenge in the field of nanomedicine: targeted drug delivery with nanoparticles,” said Liangfang Zhang, a nanoengineering professor at UC San Diego and the senior author of the study. “Because of their targeting ability, platelet-mimicking nanoparticles can directly provide a much higher dose of medication specifically to diseased areas without saturating the entire body with drugs.”

Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D. To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | March 5, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Liangfang Zhang, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Zhang was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions to creating and advancing biomimetic nanomaterials for drug delivery to improve treatment of cancers and infectious diseases.