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Development of novel nanopolymer-based drug delivery systems; their synthesis and evaluation in vitro / Micro-titre plate inserts for assay development

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S A Piletsky
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Development of novel nanopolymer-based drug delivery systems; their synthesis and evaluation in vitro:
Although there is a significant number of publications exist which describe the micro-sized controlled-release materials, the application of nano-sized carriers in drug delivery is a relatively new area which needs to be explored.
Project Aim: The project is aimed at the development of the nano-sized molecularly imprinted polymers which will be used as drug carriers with capability to provide their release at a required rate. Molecular imprinting, which describes the creation of artificial molecular recognition sites in a functional synthetic polymer, is the most generic, versatile, scalable and cost-effective approach to the creation of synthetic receptors. The polymer nanoparticles will be prepared using solid-phase synthesis of the target-specific nanoMIPs, invented in our laboratory. One of the requirements for these materials will include their compatibility with aqueous environment, which is important factor for their potential clinical applications. The polymer development will include the application of the molecular modelling of monomer-template interactions and optimisation of monomer mixture using software package SYBYL 7.3 (Tripos Inc., St. Louis, Missouri, USA).
The candidate will receive training in modern methods of polymer synthesis, molecular modelling, molecular imprinting, nanoparticle characterisation, and the use of biosensor platforms such as QCM and Biacore.

Micro-titre plate inserts for assay development:
Microtitre plates offer a convenient platform for the performance of a range of assays and diagnostic tests, allowing high-throughput screening of samples. The optical absorbance or fluorescence of solutions contained in the plates is often the preferred method of read-out. The complexity of many assays however require that solutions be transferred between plates, filtered or otherwise separated in order provide the final solution that can be read using a plate reader. These addition steps require additional plates with, for example, filters or adsorbents incorporated, significantly affecting the cost and speed of the analysis. We have proposed the use of inserts in the form of hollow cylinders, washers or nuts, which can be inserted into assay plates such that the light path for optical readout is unimpeded. The inserts, which can be sintered polymer structures, paper or other suitable material, can carry reagents, enzymes, substrates, antibodies, buffer salts or other assay components in immobilised or dry form, ready to be released and carry out the assay in a single plate.
Project Aim: The aim of the proposed project will be to develop a number of assays in the new format and show the range and versatility of the proposed technique.
The candidate will receive training in analytical chemistry and diagnostics.

We are an equal opportunities employer and particularly welcome applications for Ph.D. places from women, minority ethnic and other under-represented groups.

Funding Notes

self funded students only


Related to 'Development of novel nanopolymer-based drug delivery systems; their synthesis and evaluation in vitro'
Chianella, I. et al. Anal. Chem. 2013, 85 (17), 8462-8468.
Poma, A. et al. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2013, 23 (22), 2821-2827.
Moczko, E. et al. Nanoscale 2013, 5 (9), 3733-3741.
Related to 'Micro-titre plate inserts for assay development':
Piletska E. V., Piletsky S. S., Whitcombe M. J., Chianella I., Piletsky S. A. (2012). The development of a new microtiter plate format for clinically-relevant assays. Anal. Chem., 84, 2038-2043.

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