After my fun weekend trip, it was time for me to get started on my work. For the drug encapsulation project, I hope to encapsulate Avastin for treatment of wet AMD. Avastin is a commonly used cancer treatment drug and is not clinically used to treat wet AMD. This drug is being used because it is easy to image the drug and it provides Anti-VEGF therapy. Before I start doing experiments, I need to do a lot of reading so that I can determine what materials would be best to encapsulate and image Avastin. I have also been reading journal article to help me develop a protocol for my experiment. The goal is to eventually perform an animal study to determine how the encapsulated drug reacts in the eye.
For my second project, I have begun research on the anatomy of the eye. Once I have the CAD drawings of the eye, it will be possible to use a 3D printer to create a model of the eye that could be used for a lot of different tests. Before this happens, I will be printing a model that has roughly the same dimensions of the eye to ensure that the 3D printer will be suitable to create this model. On Tuesday night I went to a meeting and discussed this project. There are other students that will be able to teach me how to use the 3D printer. I was also able to attend a seminar on Tuesday morning about the development of nanotechnology for biological and disease studies. Meetings such as this one can be challenging because people are talking in Chinese. Luckily, the PowerPoint was written in English so I could still learn from the seminar. I appreciate meetings that are in Professor Xu’s lab because everyone has made an incredible effort to speak in English as much as they can and to put the PowerPoint slides in English!
On Tuesday I also created a QQ account! QQ is used to chat with friends online, and is very popular in China. The other students were very excited that I got an account because they said it would be much easier for them to communicate with me. This application also allows for group chats, so now it is much easier for me to keep up to date with what is going on in the lab.
Below is a photo of some of the students from the lab. This photo is very hard to see, so I will try to take a better one for my next blog!