aDepartments of Pharmaceutics and Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United StatesbNoveome Biotherapeutics, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, United StatescInstitute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA, United StatesdCardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United StateseDepartment of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Department of Biology, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, United States
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The Hebrew word “b'reshith” (Symbol) means “in the beginning”. It is the first word and title of the Book of Genesis, and it describes a process of creation. The four authors were present at the beginning of Langer labs, and the purpose of this essay is to convey the scientific and technological zeitgeist that existed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Bob Langer began his exceptionally creative work. While Langer labs has branched into many other areas, Bob's unique ability to recognize important problems and entice people to look beyond their own disciplines to solve them was evident from the start. We focus on the two areas of most interest to Bob at the time, namely controlled release of macromolecules from polymers, and removal of heparin in order to prevent uncontrolled bleeding during surgery.HIGHLIGHTSWe portray the late 1970s and early 1980s zeitgeist, when Langer Labs got its start.Many common contemporary instruments and techniques were unavailable, yet.We elucidated the mechanism of slow release of proteins from polymers.We demonstrated in vivo efficacy and modulation of release rate.We designed an enzymatic reactor for blood de-heparinization.