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Development of formulations incorporating functional excipients for the oral delivery of insecticidal peptides/dsRNA into insect pests

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, April 07, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Most insecticidal peptide toxins are not active or with diminished activity when taken orally, which hampered their practical use to control insect pests. To overcome such a barrier, this project aims to develop standard formulations incorporating functional excipients (e.g. absorption enhancers, carrier systems and stability enhancers) to improve oral delivery of these peptides into insect pests.


1- Intestinal permeation enhancers (PEs), which are one of the most widely tested strategies to improve oral delivery of therapeutic peptides in humans, will increase intestinal delivery of insecticidal peptide toxins into insect pests.
2- Many PEs are surfactants, so it is possible to protect the peptide in lipoidal dispersions including emulsions.
3- Inclusion of peptidase inhibitors can improve oral peptide delivery.
4- Carrier systems based on hydrophilic mucoadhesive polymers (polyacrylates, cellulose, chitosan), can be used to enhance oral permeability into insect pests.
5- Combining peptidase inhibitors with PEs may achieve improved permeability compared to either approach alone.

Full Project Description

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

• insert the programme code 8010F in the programme of study section
• select ‘PhD in Agriculture and Rural Development (FT) – Food and Nutrition’ as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code IAFRI-07 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the project, quote reference code IAFRI-07 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

You should also send a covering letter and CV to Mr Steven Hall (e-mail to )

The online application system will only allow one application for an IAFRI studentship. If you are applying for TWO projects then you will need to e-mail Postgraduate Admissions and Steven Hall with the following information:

-your applicant number (from the first project application)
-the second project title
-a two page covering letter for the second project
Please also include 'IAFRI-07' in the email header

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