In Focus - Issue 35 (Spring 2023)

rof. SUN Fei, Chemical and Biological Engineering, is on a creative mission. His current goal is to smarten the delivery of drugs in the human body by harnessing the silk produced by spiders to build their webs. Along the way, he is setting out to transfer to students and early career researchers the exhilaration of innovation and versatile thinking through such adventures at the frontiers of knowledge. “Spider silk, or what some people call ‘biological steel’, is strong and stable,” he said. “Unlike worm silk that can be mass produced for clothing, spider silk can potentially be used as a delivery device for drugs to help axon and bone regeneration and involves a more complicated production process.” P The joy of innovation From hydrogels to spider silk, Prof. Sun Fei is on the discovery trail for therapeutic drug delivery advances, and is taking the next generation of young inventors with him Prof. Sun Fei relishes uncovering new protein-based engineering technologies, whether using spider silk (opposite, top) or creating his smart hydrogel (opposite, below). Faculty Insight 20 IN FOCUS