Frank Gu

Professor, Chemical Engineering

For Canadian soldiers fighting in hot, arid conditions, a case of severe dry eye can mean the difference between life and death.

That’s why Frank Gu is working with Waterloo’s School of Optometry to develop new eye drops using non-irritating nanoparticles. Unlike today’s drops, Gu’s would be used only once a day.

“Can you imagine our troops doing patrols and every 15 minutes they have to stop and administer eye drops?” asks Gu, a chemical engineering professor. “Hopefully these drops can medically improve the productivity and safety for the men and women struggling in war zones.”

Gu began his drug delivery research at MIT and Harvard Medical School converting conventional cancer drugs into targeted “smart bombs on a nanometer scale.”

It was exciting work then, but he says his team of dedicated students and collaborators at Waterloo makes all the difference. “These are complex, highly disciplinary projects we’re working on at Waterloo, and to have access to students trained in nanotechnology is an absolute thrill for me.”