Name: Erik Taylor

Host Organisation: Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, Germany

Project Title: Bio-based hydrogels as drug delivery systems for the intranasal transmucosal delivery of Biopharmaceuticals

Supervisor: Dr. Carmen Gruber-Traub

Objectives of the Project:

The overall goal of this project is the development of new biomaterial-based (e.g. gelatin or hyaluronic acid) hydrogels as effective drug delivery systems tailor-made for the transmuscosal delivery of Biopharmaceuticals.

The specific goals are:

  1. Chemical modification of bio-based hydrogels for an optimized adhesion at the intranasal mucosa.
  2. Development of hydrogel-based drug delivery systems
  3. Embedding of particles into the hydrogel for an enhanced control of the drug release rate.

Secondments:

  • HBC
    • Task: Training in ex-vivo and tissue-based assays models
    • Advisor: Prof. Katharina Zimmermann
    • Duration: 1 month
  • CERTH
    • Task: Computational modelling of hydrogel characteristics and interface processes
    • Advisor: Dr. Alexandros Alexopoulos
    • Duration: 1 month
  • CP
    • Task: Modification of bio-based hydrogels, hydrogel characterisation and upscaling
    • Advisor: Dr. Martin Pravda
    • Duration: 2 months

Short Biography:

Erik Taylor is originally from Jay, Maine, USA. In 2018, Erik completed his bachelor degree in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. His bachelor thesis involved the development of targeted therapies for triple-negative breast cancer using FRZD-7 conjugated gold nanostars as a drug delivery platform.

In 2019, Erik completed his master degree in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on Biomaterials at Imperial College London in London, UK. His master thesis involved materials-based methods for improving primary neural cell viability and interconnectivity in poly(vinyl alcohol)-based hydrogel coatings for medical electrodes.

In October 2021, Erik began his work as ESR2 in the Bio2Brain Network at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, DE. Under the supervision of Dr. Carmen Gruber-Traub and Dr. Prof. Günter Tovar, Erik is working on the development of biopolymer-based hydrogels for adhesion at the nasal olfactory mucosa and delivery of biopharmaceuticals along the nose to brain pathway.