Undergraduate Research & Scholarships


Mussel-Inspired Polymers for Mucosal Drug Delivery

Mussels have the ability to adhere to wet surfaces through the byssus, a collection of protein-based threads, that are formed by the mussels foot. My graduate student mentor and I will investigate the use of mussel-inspired adhesive moieties to enhance contact and retention of polymers on mucosal tissues. In particular, I plan to use our mucoadhesive drug-loaded particles to explore the new concept of drug-induced regenerative medicine, wherein adult mammals are able to regenerate tissues in a scarless manner. The resulting mucoadhesive polymers will be useful in the future for treating ocular and oral diseases.

Message To Sponsor

To the Johnson Fund: thank you so much for funding my research experience this summer. It is the first research project I have ever done, and despite COVID, I was able to learn so many hard and soft skills related to the scientific community. I learned how to digest papers and give scientific presentations, and also how to synthesize drug-encapsulated nanoparticles and analyze SEM images. I feel much more confident delving into the world of science. This research experience has also given me the opportunity to join the Messersmith Lab, a lab that is very innovative and also fosters a kind community. Overall, if I hadn't been able to do this research, my plans for the future would have been very different, so I really appreciate having received this fellowship. Thank you!
Profile image of Maple Wang
Major: Undeclared
Mentor: Arianna Avellan
Sponsor: Johnson Fund
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