Engineering the molecular design of intelligent biomaterials by controlling recognition and specificity is the first step in coordinating and duplicating complex biological and physiological processes. Recent developments in protein delivery have been directed toward the preparation of targeted formulations for protein delivery to specific sites, use of environmentally-responsive polymers to achieve pH- or temperature-triggered delivery, usually in modulated mode, and improvement of the behavior of their mucoadhesive behavior and cell recognition. We address design and synthesis characteristics of novel crosslinked networks capable of protein release as well as artificial molecular structures capable of specific molecular recognition of biological molecules. Molecular imprinting and microimprinting techniques, which create stereo-specific three-dimensional binding cavities based on a biological compound of interest can lead to preparation of biomimetic materials for intelligent drug delivery, drug targeting, and tissue engineering. We have been successful in synthesizing novel glucose- and protein-binding molecules based on non-covalent directed interactions formed via molecular imprinting techniques within aqueous media.
Nicholas A. Peppas is the Fletcher S. Pratt Chaired Professor in the Departments of Chemical, Biomedical Engineering and Pharmacy, and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Texas at Austin. His work in biomaterials, polymer physics, drug delivery and bionanotechnology follows a multidisciplinary approach by blending modern molecular and cellular biology with engineering principles to design the next-generation of medical systems and devices for patient treatment. Over the past 35 years he has set the fundamentals and rational design of drug delivery systems and developed models of drug and protein diffusion in controlled release devices and biological tissues. In 2012 he received the Founders Award of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest recognition of the Academy, for these contributions to the field. Peppas is a member of the NAE, IOM, the National Academy of France, the Royal Academy of Spain, and the Academy of Texas. He has been recognized with awards from AIChE (Founders Award, William Walker Award, Institute Lecture, Jay Bailey Award, Bioengineering Award, Materials Award), the Biomedical Engineering Society (Distinguished Scientist Award), the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (Galletti Award), the Society for Biomaterials (Founders, Clemson and Hall Awards), the Controlled Release Society (Founders, Heller and Eurand Awards) and other societies. In 2008, AIChE named him one of the One Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era. He is President of the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, Chair-elect of the Engineering Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Past-Chair of the Council of BME Chairs. Previously, he served as President of SFB and the Controlled Release Society. He is a fellow of AAAS, AIChE, APS, ACS, MRS, SFB, BMES, AIMBE, CRS, AAPS, and ASEE. He has supervised the research of 95 PhDs and about 180 postdocs and graduate students. Peppas holds a Dipl. Eng. from the NTU of Athens (1971), a Sc.D. from MIT (1973), and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Ghent, Parma, Athens and Ljubljana.