Aiyana Fortin


B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, University of Vermont, 2021 | Twitter: @FortinAiyana








Arthritis is a debilitating joint disease affecting 1 in 4 people in the U.S. While disease-modifying therapeutics are available for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there are no therapeutics equally effective for treating osteoarthritis (OA). Our objective is to efficiently deliver these RA drugs using a targeted delivery vehicle for extended total joint retention, leveraging the C’ dot nanoparticle technology developed at Cornell. With this technology and protected IP, we will found a start-up company for the continued development of C’ dots and related technologies for the treatment of arthritis and inflammatory joint diseases.

Our team’s combined expertise in arthritis (Larry Bonassar, PhD), materials (Uli Wiesner, PhD), and veterinary  medicine (Heidi Reesink, VMD, PhD) will be leveraged to push this promising technology to the cutting edge of intra-articular osteoarthritis therapeutics.


  • Ulrich B Wiesner, Lawrence J Bonassar, Aiyana G Fortin. Nanoparticles for Imaging and Treatment of Arthritis and Inflammatory Joint Diseases. US Patent Application 63/444,372, filed Feb 9, 2023.

Posters and Presentations

  • Aiyana G Fortin, Ulrich B Wiesner, PhD, Lawrence J Bonassar, PhD. C’ dot nanoparticles as a therapeutic delivery vehicle for osteoarthritis. Ignite Innovation Showcase, May 2023. Poster Presentation.
  • Aiyana G Fortin, Nada Naguib, Ulrich B Wiesner, PhD, Lawrence J Bonassar, PhD. Functionalization of C’ dot nanoparticles with collagen-II targeting peptide reduces effective diffusivity in healthy articular cartilage. ORS Conference, Feb 2023. Poster Presentation.
  • Aiyana G Fortin, Cameron Erber, Cassandra L Roberge, David T Corr. The effect of crosslinking ion and concentration on swelling in laser direct-write alginate microbeads. BMES Conference, Oct 2019. Poster Presentation.


  • Cassandra L Roberge, PhD, David M Kingsley, PhD, Lexie R Cornely, PhD, Connor J Spain, PhD, Aiyana G Fortin, David T Corr, PhD. Viscoelastic properties of bioprinted alginate microbeads compared to their bulk hydrogel analogues. Journal of Biomedical Engineering, ASME, 2023.

Honors and Awards

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2023
  • Ignite Innovation Acceleration, 2022
  • Cornell University Fellowship, 2021

Mentored Students

  • Abigail Loucks, M.S., rotating PhD student. “Cartilage diffusion and chondrocyte localization of targeted C’ dots.” Spring 2023.
  • Antonio Garces, undergraduate research assistant. “Cartilage retention of targeted C’ dots.” Spring 2023.


Aiyana grew up in Mt. Holly, Vermont and attended the University of Vermont where she received an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering. At UVM, Aiyana pursued undergraduate research in hydrogels and materials engineering. She worked and later managed student employees at the UVM FabLab, assisting engineering and art students with a variety of design course and research projects. Currently, Aiyana serves as the President of the graduate BMES Chapter at Cornell. She enjoys playing with her beagle, Callie, as well as baking, cycling, horseback riding, and photography.