School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

Where Physical Chemistry Meets Bioengineering: Elucidating Design Principles of Ionic Liquids for Transdermal Drug Delivery


Eden E. L. Tanner


Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard University (soon to move to University of Mississippi)

Time & Place

Wed, 11 Mar 2020 12:00:00 NZDT in Beatrice Tinsley Room 112

All are welcome


Ionic liquids (ILs), which consist of anions and bulky, asymmetric organic cations that are liquid below 100 , have been used in a variety of contexts, including energy and battery applications, in catalysis, and in synthesis. Their popularity is due to a range of favorable properties such as low volatility, recyclability, and tuneability, meaning that structural changes in the ionic components result in different observed physicochemical properties. Recently, this solvent class has been employed in a biomedical context, where ILs such as choline geranate (Figure 1 a) and b)) have shown great promise in navigating biological barriers and acting as efficacious transdermal drug delivery agents, transporting large proteins such as insulin across the skin and into the bloodstream (Figure 1 c) and d)). However, there is currently limited information on the chemical origins of this transport enhancement. What makes an ionic liquid great at transdermal delivery?

In this talk I will focus on the use of physical chemistry principles and techniques such as 2D Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy to elucidate design principles to answer this question, and, more broadly, to highlight the opportunities that lay at the intersection of physical chemistry and bioengineering.

 CHEM SEM Eden Tanner


Dr Eden Tanner started her research life pre PhD at Oxford with Richard Compton and Jason Harper followed with a postdoc at Harvard with Samir Mitragotri.  She hs very recently obrained a tenure-track position at the University of Mississippi.