Hi! My name is Sope Eweje. I'm a senior at MIT from Jacksonville, NC majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Medical Devices (course 2A), as well as minors in Biology and Biomedical Engineering. I plan on attending medical school after graduation. My career ambition is to utilize engineering principles and medical expertise in developing innovative devices, systems, and processes that can improve the quality of patient care, the accessibility of medical treatment, and the efficacy of health care delivery. Outside of class, I love anything sports, especially basketball, listening to music, and keeping up with current events (from the serious to the comical). Thanks for visiting my webpage and please feel free to contact me!
The GI Drug Delivery subgroup of the Langer Lab, based at the Koch Institute at MIT, is focused on developing novel electromechanical and polymer-based systems to efficiently deliver drugs via the gastrointestinal tract. The devices deliver drugs targeted towards HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and a number of other diseases, and could potentially provide a simpler, more effective ways for chronically-ill patients to take their medications.
The project I have worked on involves a large dose gastric resident device purposed to increase adherence to tuberculosis treatment. As a disease that requires multi-month courses of multi-gram drug doses for treatment, tuberculosis is an example of a disease that may be more effectively treated with a large dose device that can elute drug over a long period of time in the stomach. Such a method eliminates the high pill burden of TB patients while reducing the impact of other barriers to care such as difficulties securing transport to a clinic and daily obligations such as employment, which are of particular concern in lower resource settings where TB is more prevalent.
Following the release of the drug payload from the gastric resident device, the device must be retrieved from the stomach. Retrieval may also be necessary during adverse or unfavorable events during drug release. I designed, fabricated, and validated with in vivo testing a device purposed to retrieval the gastric resident device. The system utilizes a microcontroller-based passive sensing function to perform its function. A US provisional patent has been submitted for the retrieval system design and work related to the device and the overall project has been submitted for publication in a major scientific journal.
As an alternative to devices that passively elute large quantities of drug over long periods of time, I have explored the use of electromechanical systems for controlled pulsatile release of large drug doses. By using user-controlled or time-pulsed electronics to actuate a mechanical system, this pulsatile drug release behavior can be achieved. This project is in progress and the work is currently confidential, but more information is coming soon!
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