Skip to content

Shrey Shah, MS

Shah PDDL24 Headshot
Predoctoral Fellowship in Drug Delivery, 2024 University of Maryland-College Park

Induction of Immune Tolerance Using Microneedles for Controlled Delivery to Skin

Abstract

In healthy individuals, immune tolerance prevents attacks against host tissues. However, in autoimmune diseases, the patient’s immune system attacks self-antigens, causing inflammation. There are no cures for autoimmune diseases, and the current treatments lack specificity, leaving patients susceptible to infections. An experimental approach to treat autoimmune diseases involves inducing tolerance towards self-antigen without suppressing normal immunity. One emerging strategy to achieve this goal is co-delivering self-antigen with immunomodulatory cues to skin – an organ that has evolved to promote tolerance. Thus, I hypothesize that targeting and co-delivering self-antigen and specific immunomodulators to the skin using microneedles (MNs) – micron-sized needles – will promote antigen-specific immune tolerance. The completion of the proposal could serve as a proof of concept for other autoimmune diseases that leverage the unique properties of MNs to target the immunological skin niche.

Receiving this fellowship is a great honor for me. By supporting my PhD research project, it not only represents a crucial step forward for my academic journey, but also enables me to make an impact in advancing the field of drug delivery.

Shrey Shah