Robert Langer Named the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Prize Winner for Engineering
Lord Browne, the Chairperson of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, announced yesterday that Chemical Engineer Robert Langer will be the person to take home the £1 million Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for 2015.
This news was announced by Browne at London’s Prince Philip House and the Duke of York was also present in the House during the announcement. The prize will be handed over to Robert Langer by the Queen herself at the Buckingham Palace later in the year.
Robert Langer has been awarded this prestigious prize for his landmark innovations he has achieved in his field that has benefitted the humanity at large. His work, especially in the controlled drug delivery, has been responsible for laying the foundation to treat various ailments like diabetes, cancers and many other medical conditions. He is now working on a micro-chip implant that will help in offering controlled drug release for long terms and this innovation could help millions of people affected by life threatening diseases.
Robert said that he was very happy to be awarded this prestigious prize and was shocked and humbled when he heard the news first He says that it is a terrific prize and was happy to know that all of the UK and the Queen are interested in supporting engineering.
Robert said that the idea of adding little doses of medicines in micro chips stemmed while watching TV shows of the 90s where they used to show how computer chips were made. His mind wandered and thought of how it would be if a chip was made with wells in them with different doses of one drug or different drugs in them.
The chemical engineer says that a small pharmacy can be carried on a single chip. The drugs can be released through a computer program or manually and there is even an option for releasing it remotely.
He has conducted clinical trials with the micro chips on women with osteoporosis. He used this microchip technology and created a small program that made the cover of one of the tiny wells that contains the drug to come off every night. This helped in getting better compliance rate than what was experienced when the patient received parathyroid hormone treatment through injections.
This technology is also very effective in aiding birth control. He said that he is working on an 17 year implant that will allow a woman to turn it off whenever she feels she wants to conceive. Robert Langer, a chemical engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a forge when it comes to drug delivery technology, Bioengineering, nanotechnology and tissue engineering.