Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 708–716 | Cite as

Chemotherapeutic Engineering: Concept, Feasibility, Safety and Prospect—A Tribute to Shu Chien’s 80th Birthday

  • Si-Shen FengEmail author


This article is made for the special issue of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering—“Mechanobiology: A Tribute to Shu Chien’s Scientific Achievement” for his 80th Anniversary. Shu Chien is well known as a founder and pioneer of bioengineering. He is the only one in the world who simultaneously holds six academicians: US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering, US Institute of Medicine, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as Chinese Academy of Sciences and Academia Sinica Taiwan. As one of Shu Chien’s PhD students at Columbia University, the author emphasizes in this article the significant contribution of Professor Shu Chien in creating and defining chemotherapeutic engineering as an emerging and prospective multidisciplinary area, which is defined as application and further development of engineering especially chemical engineering principles to solve the problems in chemotherapy of cancer and other fatal diseases such as cardiovascular disease and AIDS. Proof-of-concepts experimental results obtained so far are summarized. Safety issue is addressed. Prospect and outlook are described. In the author’s point of view, chemotherapeutic engineering may change the way we make drugs and the way we take drugs, and will thus make significant contribution to the twentieth century medicine.


Anticancer drugs Cancer nanotechnology Controlled release Drug delivery Future medicine Nanomedicine 



This work is supported by the 7th Singapore-China Cooperative Research Project Call between Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore (NUS PI: Feng SS) and Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST), China (Tsinghua U PI: Tang JT).


  1. 1.
    Cao, N., and S. S. Feng. Doxorubicin conjugated to d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS): in vitro cytotoxicity, in vivo pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. Biomaterials 29(28):3856–3865, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ehrlich, P. Chemotherapeutics: scientific principles, methods and results. Lancet II 82:445–451, 1913.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Feng, S. S. Snapshot: nanoparticles of biodegradable polymers for cancer diagnosis and treatment (the first-ever SnapShot of the journal). Biomaterials 29(30):4146–4147, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Feng, S. S., and S. Chien. Chemotherapeutic engineering: application and further development of chemical engineering principles for chemotherapy of cancer and other diseases. Chem. Eng. Sci. 58:4087–4114, 2003; (The Most Cited Paper Award 2003–2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Feng, S. S., and G. F. Huang. Effects of phospholipids as emulsifiers on controlled release of Paclitaxel from nanospheres of biodegradable polymers. J. Control. Release 71:53–69, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Feng, S. S., L. Y. Zhao, Z. P. Zhang, G. Bhakta, K. Y. Win, Y. C. Dong, and S. Chien. Chemotherapeutic engineering: vitamin E TPGS-emulsified nanoparticles of biodegradable polymers realized sustainable Paclitaxel chemotherapy for 168 hours in vivo. Chem. Eng. Sci. 62:6641–6648, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Feng, S. S., L. Mei, P. Anitha, C. W. Gan, and W. Y. Zhou. Poly(lactide)–vitamin E derivative/montmorillonite nanoparticle formulations for the oral delivery of Docetaxel. Biomaterials 30(19):3297–3306, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Feng, S. S., L. Y. Zhao, and J. T. Tang. Editorial: nanomedicine for oral chemotherapy. Nanomedicine (UK) 6(3):407–410, 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gan, C. W., and S. S. Feng. Transferrin-Conjugated Nanoparticles of Poly(lactide)-D-α-Tocopheryl Polyethylene Glycol Succinate Diblock Copolymer for Targeted Drug Delivery across the Blood-Brain Barrier. Biomaterials 31(30):7748–7757, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gan, C. W., S. Chien, and S. S. Feng. Enhancement of chemotherapeutical efficacy of Docetaxel by using a biodegradable nanoparticle formulation. Curr. Pharm. Des. 16(21):2308–2320, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kulkarni, S. A., and S. S. Feng. Effects of particle size and surface modification on cellular uptake and biodistribution of polymeric nanoparticles for drug delivery. Nanomed. Nanotechnol. Biol. Med., Submitted, 2010.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liu, Y. T., K. Li, J. Pan, B. Liu, and S. S. Feng. Folic acid conjugated nanoparticles of mixed-lipid-monolayer shell and biodegradable-polymer-core for targeted delivery of Docetaxel. Biomaterials 31(2):330–338, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liu, Y. T., K. Li, B. Liu, and S. S. Feng. A strategy for precision engineering of nanoparticles of biodegradable copolymers for quantitative control of targeted drug delivery. Biomaterials 31(35):9145–9155, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mi, Y., Y. T. Liu, and S. S. Feng. Formulation of Docetaxel by folic acid-conjugated d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate 2000 (vitamin E TPGS2k) micelles for targeted and synergistic chemotherapy. Biomaterials 32(16):4058–4066, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mu, L., and S. S. Feng. Vitamin E TPGS used as emulsifier in the solvent extraction/evaporation technique for fabrication of polymeric nanospheres for controlled release of Paclitaxel. J. Control. Release 80:129–144, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Muthu, M. S., S. A. Kulkarni, J. Q. Xiong, and S. S. Feng. d-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate coated liposomes enhanced cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of Docetaxel in brain cancer cells. Biomaterials, in press, 2011.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pan, J., and S. S. Feng. Folate-decorated poly (lactide)-vitamin E TPGS nanoparticles for targeted delivery of Paclitaxel. Biomaterials 29:2663–2672, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pan, J., and S. S. Feng. Targeting and imaging cancer cells by folate decorated, quantum dots loaded nanoparticles of biodegradable polymers. Biomaterials 30:1176–1183, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pan, J., Y. T. Liu, and S. S. Feng. A preliminary research on multifunctional nanoparticles of biodegradable copolymer blend for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Nanomedicine (UK) 5(3):347–360, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sun, B. F., and S. S. Feng. Trastuzumab-functionalized nanoparticles of biodegradable copolymers for targeted delivery of Docetaxel. Nanomedicine (UK) 4(4):431–445, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tan, Y. F., P. Chandrasekharan, D. Maity, X. Y. Cai, K. H. Chuang, Y. Zhao, S. Wang, J. Ding, and S. S. Feng. Multimodal tumor imaging by iron oxides (IOs) and quantum dots (QDs) formulated in poly(lactic acid)-d-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (PLA-TPGS) nanoparticles. Biomaterials 32(11):2969–2978, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Vanangamudi, A., N. Cao, and S. S. Feng. Targeted delivery of Doxorubicin conjugated to folic acid and d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS). J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A 94A(3):730–743, 2010.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wang, Y., Y. W. Ng, Y. Chen, B. Shuter, J. B. Yi, J. Ding, S. C. Wang, and S. S. Feng. Formulation of superparamagnetic iron oxides (IOs). by nanoparticles of biodegradable polymers for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Adv. Funct. Mater. 18(2):308–318, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Win, K. Y., and S. S. Feng. Effects of particle size and surface coating on cellular uptake of polymeric nanoparticles for oral delivery of anticancer drugs. Biomaterials 26(15):2713–2722, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Win, K. Y., and S. S. Feng. In vitro and in vivo studies on vitamin E TPGS-emulsified poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles for clinical administration of Paclitaxel. Biomaterials 27:2285–2291, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zhang, Z. P., and S. S. Feng. Nanoparticles of poly(lactide)/vitamin E TPGS copolymer for cancer chemotherapy: synthesis, formulation, characterization and in vitro drug release. Biomaterials 27(2):262–270, 2006a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Zhang, Z. P., and S. S. Feng. The drug encapsulation efficiency, in vitro drug release, cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of Paclitaxel-loaded poly(lactide)-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate nanoparticles. Biomaterials 27(21):4025–4033, 2006b.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zhang, Z. P., S. H. Lee, C. W. Gan, and S. S. Feng. Pharmacokinetics, biodistribution and xenograft tumor model of PLA-TPGS nanoparticles prepared by dialysis method for controlled and sustained small molecule chemotherapy. Pharm. Res. 25(8):1925–1935, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zhao, L. Y., J. T. Tang, and S. S. Feng. Editorial: nanothermotherapy by high performance magnetic nanoparticles. Nanomedicine (UK) 5(9):1305–1308, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical & Biomolecular EngineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Division of BioengineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Nanoscience and Nanotechnology InitiativeNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations