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  Investigation of pharmaceutical crystallisation using small angle x-ray scattering

   Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

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  Dr Y Chen, Prof J Sefcik  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) offers various ways to characterize nanoscale structures of pharmaceutical crystal and large molecules. The scattering of X-rays at small angles is (like light scattering) a non-invasive technique which originates from the spatial fluctuations of the electron density within the material. This allows investigating nanoparticles, molecular ordering/packing in the size range of 20 to 100 nm and in addition permits to identify the physical form of API/polymorphs and excipients in drug products. Small amounts of aggregates or crystalline material can be detected and amorphous, liquid crystalline, and crystalline structures be distinguished.

The project will focus on the applications of latest SAXS system in CMAC (EPSRC Centre of excellence in continuous manufacturing and crystallisation) to provide mechanistic understanding of interparticle interaction in dense system under repulsive or attractive interactions. The insight will be applied to optimise pharmaceutical crystallisation process to avoid undesired agglomeration during the process.

This innovative research project works with world leading experts, ideally suited to students with the creativity and drive to pursue doctoral studies at a technologically leading university.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Information about the host department can be found by visiting:

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis, with partial funded provided by an industrial project. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates may be considered for a University scholarship.

Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science discipline, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research.

Where will I study?

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