2021 RI C-AIM Research Symposium: Keynote Address

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone
Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering
Departments of Radiology and Chemical Engineering
Department of Chemistry (by Courtesy)
Graduate School of Business (by Courtesy)
Stanford University

Convergent, translational research to improve human health

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone

This lecture will describe nano- / micro-fabrication and 3D printing technologies that we have invented and employed to advance innovations in human health. In 2004, we invented Particle Replication in Non wetting Templates (PRINT), a high-resolution imprint lithography-based process to fabricate nano- and micro-particles with precise and independent control over particle parameters (e.g. size, shape, modulus, composition, charge, surface chemistry). PRINT led to the launch of Liquidia Technologies (NASDAQ: LQDA) and opened new research paths, including to elucidate the influence of specific particle parameters in biological systems, and to reveal insights to inform the design of vaccines, targeted therapeutics, and even synthetic blood. In 2015, we reported the invention of Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP), a process that overcame major limitations in polymer 3D printing—slowness, a very limited range of materials, and an inability to create parts with the mechanical and thermal properties needed for widespread, durable utility.

CLIP is now transforming how products are manufactured in numerous industries. In medicine, for example, to help address shortages, CLIP enabled a new nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19 testing to go from concept to market in just 20 days, followed by a 400-patient clinical trial at Stanford. Academic laboratories are also using CLIP to pursue new medical device possibilities, including IVRs that optimize drug delivery and implantable chemotherapy absorbers to limit toxic side effects. Vast opportunities exist to pursue next-generation medical devices and prostheses. We are currently pursuing new 3D printing advances, including software treatment planning for digital therapeutic devices in pediatric medicine, as well as the design of a single-digit micron resolution printer to advance microneedle designs as a potent vaccine delivery platform. The impact of our work on human health relies on our ability to enable a convergent research program to take shape that allows for new connections to be made among traditionally disparate disciplines and concepts, and to maintain a consistent focus on the translational potential of our advances.

Joseph M. DeSimone is the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Previously, DeSimone was a faculty member at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University. He is also Co-founder, Board Chair, and former CEO (2014 – 2019) of the additive manufacturing company, Carbon. DeSimone has published over 350 scientific articles and holds over 200 patents. He has mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion, half of whom are women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM. In 2016, DeSimone was recognized by President Obama with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He is also a member of all three branches of the U.S. National Academies (Sciences, Medicine, Engineering). DeSimone received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.