Samir Mitragotri

Samir Mitragotri

  • Hiller Professor of Bioengineering and Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering
  • Core Faculty Member, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
  • Area Chair for Bioengineering


Prof. Mitragotri has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of biological barriers and drug delivery. His research has advanced fundamental understanding of biological barriers and has led to the development of new materials as well as technologies for diagnosis and treatment of various ailments including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, skin conditions and infections, among others. Many of his technologies have advanced to human clinical studies and products. At the same time, fundamental understanding developed through his research has advanced the understanding of the biology of barriers in the human body. His research has made particular impact on the following areas:

Transdermal drug delivery

Prof. Mitragotri has established a fundamental knowledge-base of transport properties of skin including structure-permeation relationships. He has also pioneered a large number of technologies including low-frequency ultrasound, pulsed microjet injector, high throughput screening (INSIGHT), skin penetrating peptides (SPACE peptide) and ionic liquids (CAGE) for transdermal delivery of proteins, peptides and nucleic acids, which otherwise have to be injected using needles.

Oral drug delivery

Prof. Mitragotri has developed fundamental understanding of transepithelial transport in the intestine. He has also established an understanding of the effect of penetration enhancers on permeation across the intestinal epithelium. He has invented novel technologies, in particular intestinal patches and a novel permeation enhancer (PPS) for oral delivery of proteins such as insulin and calcitonin.

Bio-inspired nanoparticles for drug delivery

Prof. Mitragotri has developed unique bio-inspired nanoparticles with engineered shapes and mechanical properties to address immunological hurdles in the body. Rod- and disc-shaped particles exhibit enhanced circulation and targeting to cancer and inflamed endothelium. Platelet-mimetic particles (SynPlats) offer potential therapeutic agents for targeted hemostasis.

Bio-Synthetic Hybrid systems for drug delivery and Immunotherapy

Prof. Mitragotri has developed hybrid systems that use synthetic nanoparticles hitchhiking on circulatory cells. Nanoparticles hitchhiking on red blood cells avoid immune clearance and allow delivery to tissues including lungs. Nanoparticles hitchhiking on monocytes readily cross tissue transport barriers and allow delivery to brain, tumors and lungs for targeted drug delivery and immunotherapy.

Contact Information

Office:Pierce Hall 211
Assistant:Claudia Stearns
Assistant Office:Pierce Hall 318
Assistant Phone:(617) 496-4870
Research Mgr: Asma Sharif

Primary Teaching Area

Positions & Employment

07/17- Hiller Professor of Bioengineering and Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering, SEAS, Harvard University

07/17-, Core Faculty Member, Wyss Institute, Harvard University

01/00-06/17 Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara.

14/07-06/17 Professor, Technology Management Program, UCSB, affiliated faculty

7/13-06/17 Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Systems Biology and Bioengineering

6/12-06/17 Professor of Biology, College of Creative Studies, UCSB

11/01-01/17 Founding Director, Center for Bioengineering, UCSB

Other Experience & Professional Membership

Other Current Appointments

  • Founding Editor-in-Chief, Bioengineering & Translational Medicine, an AIChE and SBE journal (2015-present)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Controlled Release (2011-present)
  • NIH Gene and Drug Delivery Study Section member (2014-present)
  • Editorial Boards of Journal of Drug Targeting, Technology, Therapeutic Delivery, Experimental Medicine and Biology, Cancer Nanotechnology, Journal of Laboratory Automation, Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine
  • Scientific and Board member of several biotech and pharmaceutical companies


Clemson Award, Society for Biomaterials (2017)

Member, National Academy of Medicine (NAM) (2016)

Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) (2015)

Fellow, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) (2015)

Fellow, Controlled Release Society (CRS) (2015)

Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) (2015)

Member, National Academy of Engineering (NAE) (2015)

Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI) (2013)

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2012)

Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (2010)

Controlled Release Society’s Young Scientist Award (2008)

American Institute of Chemical Engineers Allan P. Colburn award (2005)

Selection by MIT's Technology Review Magazine as one of the world’s top Innovators Under 35 (1999)

Patents Awarded

Prof. Mitragotri is an inventor on over 150 issued/pending patents. His inventions are being/have been actively translated into clinical products by several companies.

  • Ultrasound-mediated Transdermal Delivery (sonophoresis): Sontra Inc.
  • High-Throughput Transdermal Formulation Discovery: Fqubed Inc., Nuvo Research Inc., Tioga Research, Crescita Inc.
  • Pulsed Microject Injector: Stratagent Lifesciences, Corium Inc.
  • Painless Skin-based Diagnostics Systems: Seventh Sense Biosystems
  • Surfactant-based Biomarker Recovery from Skin: Skincential Inc.
  • Intestinal Patches for Oral Delivery of Biologics: Entrega Inc.
  • Skin Permeating Peptides for Transdermal Delivery: CTX Inc.
  • Transdermal Delivery of Nanoparticles: Sebacia Inc.
  • Ionic Liquids: Liquideon LLC, CageBio Inc.