Dr. David Cappelleri
Dr. Craig Goergen
Dr. Luis Solorio 

Areas of Research

Tackling Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Tumbling Microrobots


Precisely targeted drug delivery is the dream of biomedical engineers, and we at Purdue University  are using microrobots to deliver the goods. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded us a $1.11 million grant to investigate targeted drug delivery in a live colon using tumbling magnetic microrobots. This collaborative research effort combines expertise in many disciplines including biomedical, mechanical, and materials engineering. Our initial goal is to use these microrobots to deliver targeted therapy for colorectal disease, specifically inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Our team plans to continue using live animals as an analog for the human colon. While Dr. Cappelleri refines the robots, Dr. Goergen will focus on the ultrasound imaging to help the robots find their target. Dr. Solorio will focus on the third aim of the project: designing a release system to deliver a therapeutic payload. Our team is also collaborating with Dr. Thomas Imperiale, a Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Indiana University School of Medicine, who will advise us on the potential efficacy of their treatments in colorectal diseases. Our initial work showed that the magnetic microrobots can be make cheaply of polymer and metal, are nontoxic and are biocompatible. Commonly-used roll-to-roll manufacturing machinery could potentially produce hundreds of these microrobots at once, meaning these microrobots could eventually act as diagnostic tools in addition to drug delivery vehicles.

Recruitment Needs

A creative, highly motivated, self-starter engineering PhD student to start in 2023.

Feel free to contact:

Dr. Dave Cappelleri <dcappell@purdue.edu>                                                                 

Dr. Craig Goergen <cgoergen@purdue.edu>

Dr. Luis Solorio <lsolorio@purdue.edu>

YouTube Video