Todd HoareEngineered Smart Materials
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering
MCMASTER EXPERTS PROFILE
Developing new ‘smart’ materials and nano-medicines that will provide targeted drug delivery with fewer side effects for patients suffering from cancer and other diseases.
Todd Hoare has discovered that the best things come in small packages.
The Canada Research Chair in Engineered Smart Materials is studying the use of gel nanoparticles that can get drugs to the place they need to be in our bodies at the rate they need to be delivered for the best therapeutic effect.
He works on the nano-scale, creating tiny polymer delivery vehicles that act as containers for drugs that fight disease, infection or tumors. These ‘smart’ hydrogels react to various stimuli (heat, pH, light and electromagnetic fields, for example) causing them to release their drug only at the desired site of action and at user-controlled doses.
The remote-controlled drug delivery vehicles can be activated reversibly and non-invasively to trigger enhanced or suppressed drug release in the body on demand, reducing side effects and improving the efficacy of therapies for treating cancer, schizophrenia, and ocular disease, among others. They can also be precisely tuned to elicit different cellular responses and, as such, hold great promise for tissue regeneration.
Working at the interface of polymer science, physical chemistry, and biology, Hoare’s research will add significantly to our fundamental understanding of the chemistry and physics of smart materials and lead to the development of new applications in other technologies, including food, nutriceutical delivery, and environmental applications, such as soil and water remediation.