Evan A. Scott
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
PhD (2009) Washington University in St. Louis
The Scott Lab employs unique engineering- and materials-based strategies for the treatment and basic understanding of inflammation in heart disease, cancer, and vaccination. Our approach applies principles from biomaterials science and nanotechnology for the controlled elicitation or suppression of the immune system. Inflammation generated by the immune system can be both therapeutic or harmful, and our materials are rationally designed to interact with the inflammatory cells that may heal or contribute to diverse pathologies. We focus on the simultaneous transport of drugs and imaging agents to specific organs and cells, with the goal of combining therapy and diagnostics into a single nanomaterials-based strategy.
The inspiration behind the design of our materials is biomimicry, i.e. incorporating biomolecular structures and mechanisms found in nature. Since the immune system has evolved to detect and generate specific responses to diverse pathogens, our nanomaterials mimic the structures and functions of viruses and bacteria. Furthermore, we fabricate tissue engineering scaffolds that mimic the nanostructures of natural tissues to better deliver drugs and improve biocompatibility. Recent applications of our technology include the targeting of arterial plaques for early detection of heart disease, scalable fabrication of nanomaterial therapeutics, and nanofilament scaffolds for cancer immunotherapy.