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Additive Manufacture of Transdermal Delivery Systems for Personalised and Age Appropriate Medicines

Research Support Unit

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Dr J O'Mahoney , Dr N O'Reilly , Dr P McLoughlin No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Waterford Ireland Manufacturing Engineering Pharmaceutical Chemistry

About the Project

Post summary

Applications are invited from suitability qualified graduates for a PhD scholarship in the PMBRC funded by the SSPC. SSPC is a leading international research centre where the world’s top pharmaceutical industry and research academia collaborate to develop more effective medicines and pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. This project will be in the Medicines research strand of SSPC which focuses on the additive manufacture of personalized and age-appropriate medicines for patients.


This project will focus on developing stable ink formulations containing drug material for the stable printing of personalised medicine integrated with printable actuators to enhance the delivery of drug across the skin. Initial focus will be on preparing aqueous formulations for coating structured polymer surfaces for skin permeation delivery systems. The emphasis will be on the controlled delivery of the drug material from the print head to the substrate whilst retaining molecular functionality at the surface to optimise dosage. Ultrasonic and Pneumatic deposition methods will be compared. In the second stage of the project drug materials will be incorporated within a polymer blend for printing of flat and irregular surface forms to create a functional delivery system. In the final stage the optimised formulations and associated structures will be integrated with a controlled delivery subsystem that will operate via pulsatile displacement and/or stretch membrane type displacement to release the drug from the printed structure. Skin diffusion studies (Franz Cell) and modelling of skin permeation for the different displacement strategies will be carried out at each stage to identify the most suitable formulation and displacement methods for controlled delivery across the skin membrane.

The scholarship includes a travel budget which will allow the student to attend a number of international conferences relevant to their research. In addition it may be possible to arrange a 3-month work placement with an SSPC industry partner or with an international academic partner during the programme, subject to certain criteria. The student will be based at the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and will be part of a wider team of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers involved in drug delivery and drug product formulation research. As an SSPC-funded researcher, the student will be required to attend SSPC quarterly technical meetings to present their work with other researchers and industry partners.

Person specification



·       The student must have a minimum 2.1 B.Sc. degree in Chemistry, Applied Physics, Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Science.


·       1st Class Honours Degree


Knowledge & Experience


·       Prior relevant laboratory experience is essential.

·       Good understanding of Analytical Equipment and Techniques.


·       Previous experience in drug product formulation and solid-state characterisation is desirable but not essential.

·       Experience working in the pharmaceutical industry


Skills & Competencies


·       Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

·       Good communication skills are essential. The student will be required to regularly present their results at project meetings and international conferences.

·       The successful candidate will be comfortable working as part of a multidisciplinary research team and on their own initiative.


·       Previous experience in using statistical analysis or data modelling software

Further information

For any informal queries, please contact Dr Niall O'Reilly at email: [Email Address Removed] or telephone: +00353 (0) 51 306167

For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email "Post Graduate Admissions" <[Email Address Removed]>or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.


Application procedure

Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to "Post Graduate Admissions" <[Email Address Removed]>, quoting [WD_2020_49_SPONS] in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted

Funding Notes

Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) in conjunction with SSPC – the SFI Centre for Pharmaceuticals
Duration - 4 year, structured PhD programme
Status - Full time
Funding information - Funded by SSPC – the SFI Centre for Pharmaceuticals
Value of the scholarship - Stipend of €17,500 per annum, with fees paid by the funding agency. The funding also provides a substantial materials and travel budget.
Teaching requirement (if any) None
Closing date and time - February 28th 2021 at 4pm Irish time
Interview date - To be confirmed after the closing date for applications
Commencement date - Immediately
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