Macy Castaneda

MIT Department: Biological Engineering

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, San Diego

Faculty Mentor: Robert Langer

Research Supervisor: Malvika Verma

Website: LinkedIn



I study mechanical engineering at University of California, San Diego. I have always been passionate about biology and plan to pursue a graduate degree in bioengineering later on. I have performed research on drug delivery in the past and currently research at my university regarding mechanical stretch and stem cell cardiomyocyte differentiation. For fun I enjoy running, reading, and finding new musicals to listen to.

2017 Research Abstract

Aspects of Drug Delivery Devices: Drug Release and Device Localization in the Body

Macy Castaneda, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California – San Diego

Malvika Verma, Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Giovanni Traverso, Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, MIT

Robert Langer, Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, MIT, Department of Chemical Engineering and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT

A common issue in drug delivery is that patients often do not stringently follow the

scheduled drug dosing regime they are prescribed. Our aim for this research is to create a novel drug delivery device that can be retained long term in the human body for the duration of the treatment to automatically release the drug at the required timepoints. We are addressing the need for more effective drug delivery by making it easier for patients to take medication, removing the issue of patient adherence. In this research, there are two key aspects of drug devices that we are considering. The first aspect considered is the drug release mechanism, specifically sustained diffusion. To test this, we performed experiments using our device. We discovered that increasing the number of holes used for drug release will increase the diffusion rate. The second is determining proper localization of the device once it has entered the body while avoiding invasive procedures. We are researching the potential of magnetic sensors to determine locations of objects within the body. Hall effect sensors convert magnetic field strength into voltage outputs. Since magnetic fields vary with distance, Hall effect sensors can be used as proximity sensors. We tested an A1324 sensor and determined that it has a certain range where we can estimate the distance between the sensor and a magnet due to a linear relation. This distance can be increased by increasing the magnetic field. These results can be used to consider a novel device prototype in the future.