Dr. Saami Yazdani Receives $2M NIH Grant for Interdisciplinary Drug Delivery Research

(Author: Yassmin Shaltout)

In an effort to deliver therapeutic medication to peripheral vascular disease patients ( > 8 million individuals in the USA) without the usage of permanent stents, Dr. Yazdani has combined his passions for fluid mechanics and biomedical engineering to creatively approach treatments related to blood flow, cardiovascular disease, and circulation. His ongoing interdisciplinary research combines concepts from biology, chemistry, and engineering while also bridging collaborative resources from industry, academia, and clinical settings. Dr. Yazdani is extremely motivated in recruiting undergraduate students to work on the many facets of this project – he strongly believes in giving students the opportunity to grow and think creatively in a supportive environment. With the help of his undergraduate team which includes Mia Albery (‘22), Laia Lopez (‘22), and William Chen (‘22), Dr. Yazdani has been able to tackle research sectors related to drugs, devices, models, and patient data collection. This uniquely collaborative interdisciplinary approach to research allows for the generation of innovative ideas which earned Dr. Yazdani a $2M 4-year RO1 foundation grant titled “Local delivery of smooth muscle cell targeted aptamer to inhibit neointimal growth and accelerate vascular healing.” It is Dr.Yazdani’s hope that the local liquid delivery system, which will result from this engineering research, can be combined with a new “smart drug” being developed at Duke University and The University of Iowa in order to effectively deliver treatment to peripheral vascular disease patients. This new therapy technique has the potential to enhance treatment outcomes by overcoming the limitations of current therapy mechanisms.

Blood vessel test device

Harvested blood vessels allow bench-top testing of varying drug delivery devices being developed by Dr. Yazdani and his students