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Aerosol Jet Printing of Dissolving Microneedle Arrays for the Transdermal Delivery of Therapeutic Peptides

  • Full or part time
    Dr N O'Reilly
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 26, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Post summary

The development of biopharmaceutical molecules represents a key driver for growth in the pharmaceutical industry. Within that field, therapeutic peptides are an exciting development being used to treat a variety of conditions such as prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. However, the delivery of biologic molecules presents a significant challenge. Most of the 10 top-selling biologic drugs are delivered intravenously, requiring a trained health care professional, which is costly and inconvenient to the patient. Transdermal drug delivery is an attractive alternative delivery route for systemic delivery and the supervisory team have recently used dissolving microneedle arrays to transdermally deliver a model peptide drug. However the traditional micromoulding techniques used to generate dissolving microneedles have significant drawbacks which may limit their commercial production. This project will examine the emerging area of additive manfacturing, and aerosol jet printing in particular, for the fabrication of dissolving microneedle arrays. Peptide-containing microneedles with the physical properties required to penetrate the skin will be deposited using sugar/polymer formulations for immediate release applications. In addition, aerosol jet printing will be used to incorporate peptide/biodegradable polymer nanoparticles into the arrays for sustained release transdermal delivery.

Experimental Objectives:

• To develop formulation and process parameters which enable the aerosol jet deposition of a therapeutic peptide while retaining its structure and activity.
• To use this knowledge to fabricate dissolving MN arrays with the mechanical properties required to penetrate the skins layers.
• To use aerosol jet printing to incorporate controlled release peptide nanoparticles into rapidly dissolving MN arrays, building on previous studies by the supervisory team.
• To evaluate these MN arrays by means of ex vivo porcine skin diffusion studies.

Standard duties and responsibilities of the scholarship

• To review and summarise the scientific literature relevant to the area of the scholarship.
• To identify, plan and conduct experimental work to generate new knowledge in the subject area.
• To review and summarise the experimental data in the form of chapters for inclusion in a PhD thesis.
• To undertake generic and project-specific skills training as required by the WIT structured PhD programme.
• To prepare scientific papers for publication in international, peer-reviewed journals.
• To attend and present your data at national and international conferences.
• To travel to other universities and third level institutes to carry out aspects of the research as required.
• To perform routine maintenance/care of laboratory equipment used as part of your studies.
• To order chemicals and other items are required by your project.
• To complete two hours of academic development activities per week during the academic year in line with scholarship requirements.
• Such other duties as may reasonably be required to complete a doctoral degree according to the procedures of the institute.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year full-time structured PhD programme

Stipend: €12,000 p/a
Fees: €4,500 p/a
Research costs: €2,000 p/a

For any informal queries, please contact Niall O’Reilly, +353 51 306167

For further information on this scholarship and how to apply, please visit View Website

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