Local, sustained drug delivery has the potential to improve the treatment and prevention of many conditions and diseases that afflict the female reproductive tract. However, achieving effective, therapeutic delivery in the vaginal tract is challenging due to vaginal physiology. To overcome these issues, we are developing nanomedicines and novel delivery vehicles that can provide sustained release (improving effectiveness) and deliver drugs uniformly to the target surface. Improved local vaginal delivery has promise for preventing preterm birth and sexually transmitted infections, as well as treating bacterial vaginosis and cervical cancer. Local delivery could not only improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment, but also dramatically improve patient quality of life by reducing the side effects associated with systemic chemotherapy. We also use our nanotechnologies to gain fundamental understanding of the factors that lead to infections in the female reproductive tract. We hope to not only gain a fundamental understanding of infection, but also aid the development of strategies for preventing infections.
Disease Focus Areas
- Cervical and ovarian cancers
- HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Preterm birth
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