Our work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. The major focus is the study and development of polymers to serve as scaffolds for tissue engineering and as vehicles for controlled delivery of drugs including small molecules, proteins, DNA and RNAi. more >>

This image, captured by Omid Veiseh, shows an artificial pancreas that could eliminate the routine of pinpricks and injections for type 1 diabetics. Credit: Omid Veiseh, Joshua Doloff, Minglin Ma, and Arturo Vegas.
Benjamin L. Larson, Hyoungshin Park, Farshid Guilak, Jean F. Welter, Robert Langer, and Lisa E. Freed "Cartilage and bone grown on a woven polymer". Damaged cartilage has very limited capacity for self-repair, and must often be treated with total knee or hip replacement surgery. Here, researchers grow bone and cartilage from adult stem cells in the lab, creating a construct that could fuse naturally to bone to repair joint injury. Bright Field Light Micrograph.
How can we turn off the genes that promote the development of cancer? Using specially designed nanoparticles as genetic patches, engineers can deliver customized payloads to a cell's gel-like cytoplasm where most cellular activity occurs, and mitigate the effects of cancer-causing genes in the cell's nucleus. This image shows nanoparticles (red) in the cytoplasm of cervical tumor cells (green). Credit: Omar F. Khan, Edmond W. Zaia.
siRNA therapy has tremendous clinical potential. However, highly efficient in vivo RNA delivery was limited to hepatocytes until recently, when a new lipid-polymer compound that naturally targets endothelial cells, termed 7C1 was reported. This CryoTEM image shows the internal structure of 7C1 nanoparticles. Light and dark bands represent 7C1 lipid and siRNA, respectively. These nanoparticles, which have diameters between 30 and 50 nm, clearly consist of alternating lipid/siRNA layers.
Hitting a nerve: In this image, captured by Gaurav Sahay, Avi Schroeder and Paulina Hill of the Langer and Anderson Labs at the Koch Institute, tiny lipid pouches (red) have been taken up by a nerve cell. Similar pouches could be used to transport therapeutics into diseased cells.

Robert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor. Dr. Langer has written over 1,250 articles. He also has nearly 1,050 patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 250 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history.