Gu iMedication Lab

· Key Words: Bioresponsive Materials/Formulations/Devices; Cell Therapy; Smart Insulin Delivery; Cancer Immunotherapy; Bioinspired and Biomimetic Design

· Featured Inventions: Bioresponsive Microneedle Patches (Smart Insulin Patch; Browning Patch; Melanin Patch; Blood Thinner Patch; Cell Patch); Platelet-Delivered Immunotherapy; Adipocytes-Mediated Drug Delivery; Sprayable Immunotherapeutic Gel; Liquid-Metal Nanomedicine; Elastic Drug Delivery; Cold Plasma-Mediated Immunotherapy; Photothermal-Enhanced CAR-T Therapy

Our research laboratory is interested in exploring strategies that apply stimuli-responsive systems for delivering therapeutics in dose-, spatial- and temporal-controlled fashions. By accumulating and integrating tools of biomolecular engineering, materials chemistry and micro/nano fabrication, we are adapting the concept of “artificial vesicles”, which are inspired by effective approaches found in natural particulates, from viruses to cells. Drug delivery through such vehicles can be specifically regulated by physiological signals, such as glucose, ATP and reactive oxygen species, the level or activity of which is often closely associated with many diseases, including diabetes and cancer. In particular, we are studying glucose-responsive synthetic formulations and devices for delivering insulin in a self-regulated manner, which mimics the function of pancreatic β-cells. We are also developing the “programmed” anticancer drug delivery systems that can respond upon the elements within tumor microenvironment or subcellular environment and sequentially release multiple drugs to their most active destinations. In addition to endogenous triggers, we are also interested in utilizing exogenous triggers, such as ultrasound and light to achieve spatiotemporal administration.

Smart Insulin Delivery

We are interested in utilizing synthetic materials or modified insulin to form formulations/devices, mimicking the function of pancreatic beta cells for glucose-responsive insulin delivery.

Selected Publications: Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2020; PNAS, 2019; Science Advances, 2019; ACS Nano, 2018; Nature Chemical Biology, 2017; Nature Chemistry, 2017; PNAS, 2015; Advanced Materials, 2016; Nano Letters, 2017; ACS Nano, 2017; Biomacromolecules, 2014; ACS Nano, 2013; ACS Nano, 2013;Chemical Society Reviews, 2014

read more


Our research in immunoengineering is focused on delivering immunomodulatory therapeutics (especially immune checkpoint inhibitors), engineering immune cells, and constructing immune‐modulating scaffolds.

Selected Publications: PNAS, 2020; Science Advances, 2019; Advances Materials, 2019; Nature Nanotechnology, 2018; Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2018; Science Translational Medicine, 2018; Advanced Materials, 2018; Science Immunology, 2017; Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2017; Nano Letters, 2016; ACS Nano, 2016

read more

Protein Delivery

We are interested in delivering therapeutic protein using bioinspired/biomimetic approaches, from intracellular delivery to systemic delivery and local/transdermal delivery.

Selected Publications: Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2020; PNAS, 2019; Nature Nanotechnology, 2018; Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2018; Nature Communications, 2014; Nature Communications, 2015; Nature Reviews Materials, 2016; Advanced Materials, 2014; Advanced Materials, 2015; JACS, 2015; Angewandte Chemie, 2014; Physiological Reviews, 2016; Chemical Society Reviews, 2010

read more

Recent Highlights

  • 01/2018– JAMA and NIH Director's Blog highlighted our work on "synthetic artificial beta cells (AβCs)".Read more…
  • 01/2017– Our bioresponsive smart patches can deliver insulin, immune checkpoint inbihitors, cancer vaccine, browning agents, or blood thinners as needed to prevent blood clots.Read more…
  • 10/2016– Yue's review on "Bioresponsive Materials" was published in Nature Reviews Materials.Read more…
  • 12/2015– Jicheng's "Smart Insulin Patch" was selected as one of "Top 10 Images of 2015" by Science Magazine!Read more…