Progress in drug design has led to the development of new molecules. However, the limited ability to selectively deliver these molecules at well-defined dosing regimens remains a significant challenge. Therefore, the development of effective therapies relies on the development of effective carriers that are nontoxic, able to carry a significant payload of the molecule, with high accuracy, and which allow combination therapeutic platforms. In the last two decades Nanomedicines (NMs) are being explored for their potentials in treatment of numerous diseases. The market for nanoformulated medicines is growing at a significant rate, with an estimated market value of $377 billion in 2021 and it is expected to hit over US$ 964 billion by 2030. The outcomes of the project have the potential to confer significant benefits for future medicines development. The aim of this project is to develop nanoparticles (NPs) by microfluidics that contain biologic molecules which will be provided by our industrial partner. Microfluidics is a technique which deals with flow of fluids within micron sized channels. It provides a platform where these NMs can be synthesized in a controlled manner enabling to tune their size, charge, polydispersity, and other surface fictionalization properties. In addition, the technique is energetically economical, easier to use, comparatively cheaper and faster, and also the molecules which hasn’t been incorporated in the particles can be reused. The specific objectives of this work are as follows: (i) Optimization and Synthesis of lipid nanomedicines containing biopharmaceutical molecule(s). (ii) Physicochemical characterization of the NPs. (iii) Dose and time kinetics of the NPs in vitro. (iv) Biophysics (simulation studies).
The successful applicant will be integrated into QUB research groups of experienced researchers with access to world-leading facilities. The techniques that will be used during the project cover a wide-range and include: Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Fourier-transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, Rheology, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), ζ-Potential and Size Measurements, In Vitro Release Studies, Cell Culture / Cytotoxicity Assays, and MatLab Simulation Studies.
The PhD student would be encouraged to engage in a variety of impact activities, disseminate the research project findings through public talks, and participate in QUB showcase events. Examples of impact activities includes: Blogs or web articles, Magazine articles, Public lectures, School visits, oral & poster Presentations (at local, national and international conferences), and Publication of scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.
Home applicants must meet the following academic criteria:
1st or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a closely related discipline.
International applicants must meet the following academic criteria:
IELTS (or equivalent) of 7.0, a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) and a master’s degree in a relevant subject.
Applicants should apply through the University's Direct Application Portal: https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php