Development of a water soluble formulations of fatty acids
Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem, with an increasing number of bacteria being resistant to current antibiotics. Studies in WIT have demonstrated that an essential fatty acids, has potent antimicrobial activities against a range of multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus and fungi, making it a suitable candidate for the next antimicrobial treatment. In addition to this, the FA is found to prevent and disrupt biofilm formation, contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while being non-toxic both orally and for external use. Coupled with this, it has wound healing properties and can relieve dry eye disease. Therefore, this FA could be used in a wide range of applications such as use as an antimicrobial agent for wound dressing, as antibiotics or as preservatives in eye drops or contact lens solutions. However, this FA is not stable on its own, inhibiting its usefulness. Therefore, the PhD project aims to develop a formulation to stabilize the FA in solution, targeting cyclodextrins (CDs), lipid nanoparticles and microemulsion formation. It is important to have a stable FA in aqueous solution to allow its usage in different applications, such as incorporating them into a number of biocompatible polymers such as chitosan or alginate hydrogels, for wound dressing applications.
1) To develop a water-soluble FA formulation using cyclodextrin, lipid nanoparticles or microemulsion
2) To ensure that the FA-formulation developed is stable and still active
3) To test the antimicrobial capability of the FA formulation against multi-drug resistant pathogens
4) To study the toxicity profile of the developed FA-formulation
5) Incorporate the FA-formulation into wound dressing
The position requires a student who would be multi-disciplinary, having knowledge both in formulation and in microbiology, in addition to competency in working in a sterile environment.
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 Shiau Pin Tan (Graece), +353 (0)51 834121
For further information on this scholarship and how to apply, please visit View Website