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Published on September 14th, 2022 | by University of Mississippi


Effective Drug Delivery Topic for Hybrid Oxford Science Café

Biochemistry professor to discuss potential for ionic liquids to target therapies

A University of Mississippi professor will discuss the effective delivery of drugs during the first Oxford Science Café of the fall semester.

The talk is scheduled for 6 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at Heartbreak Coffee‘s downtown location. The event also will be broadcast over Zoom.

Eden Tanner, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will discuss “Hitching a Ride for Effective Drug Delivery.”

“Imagine if only 1 percent of your text messages got sent to the right person,” Tanner said. “This is the reality for almost all nanoparticles used for drug delivery, and especially for treating cancer.

“At this rate, you’d need to give someone a trillion nanoparticles to see any effect, which is not practical or healthy in a person.”

Tanner’s lab uses materials called ionic liquids – salts that are liquid at room temperature – as a nanoparticle GPS to make sure they get to exactly where they’re needed in the body.

“The ionic liquids are selectively attracted to different kinds of blood components like red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets,” she said. “This results in them hitching a ride on the blood cells, letting the cells do all the hard work.”

During Tanner’s 40-minute talk, she will also address how about half the particles will make it to the brain by hitching a ride on red blood cells.

“This could revolutionize medicine by allowing us to effectively and selectively deliver drugs to treat brain cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression and many other diseases,” Tanner said.

Lorena Magana Zertuche, coordinator of the Science Café, said Tanner’s presentation is timely.

“We cannot wait to hear more about this novel method of drug delivery that Dr. Eden Tanner is using in her research,” she said.

To view the Oxford Science Cafe, visit https://olemiss.zoom.us/j/99989536748. A link to the recorded talk and more information on the monthly series will be posted at https://www.phy.olemiss.edu/oxfordsciencecafe/.

By Edwin B. Smith

Eden Tanner, a University of Mississippi chemistry professor who is studying ways to improve the delivery of drugs where they are needed in the body, will discuss her work during the first Oxford Science Cafe of the fall. Submitted photo

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The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. A member of the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, Ole Miss has a long history of producing leaders in public service, business, academics and the professions. Its 16 academic divisions include a major medical school; nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy; and an Honors College acclaimed for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning and opportunities for community action. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s most beautiful, Ole Miss's main campus is in Oxford, which is routinely recognized as one of the nation's best college towns.

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