Microneedle arrays are minimally-invasive devices that painlessly, and without drawing blood, penetrate the skin’s stratum corneum barrier. This allows delivery of a range of substances that would otherwise not be able to move into or across the skin. Though microneedles have found great use in intradermal vaccines, our Group focusses on high-dose drug delivery. A key trend in the pharmaceutical industry is currently long-acting drug delivery. Here, instead of taking tablets daily, a patient receives an injection or implant that contains weeks or months of medication. However, these conventional long-acting systems are invasive, requiring skilled healthcare workers and carrying the risk of infection and problematic disposal.
The novel microneedle systems to be developed here will take these complex therapeutics out of the formal healthcare setting and place them in the hands of patients, who will be able to self-apply the microneedle systems that will then simply dissolve in their skin to deposit the high dose, long-acting medication. In this project, the student will design and characterise long-acting microneedle systems using a range of innovative techniques. The benefits to patients of the technology developed during this studentship will be profound. The student will work at the cutting edge of developments in a leading research Group, thus greatly enhancing their employability.
This interdisciplinary project will provide training in a range of analytical methods, design and assessment of novel delivery systems and biological models for assessment of the potential clinical efficacy of formulations. Furthermore, student training will take place within a highly active international research culture. In addition to laboratory based-skills, the student will also undergo training in research methodology and statistics and will have opportunities to develop both verbal and written communication skills. The student will publish their research in journal articles and present at both national and international conferences. The student will also have the opportunity to actively participate in a range of outreach activities in the community and gain teaching experience on our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Enhanced patient care and quality of life, economic development for the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. The student’s CV will be enhanced through training with a leading international Group
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