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   School of Pharmacy

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  Prof Ryan Donnelly  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly enhanced the need for self-administration of injectables at home, away from healthcare settings, where transmission could have dire consequences. Microneedle arrays are minimally-invasive devices that painlessly, and without drawing blood, penetrate the skin’s stratum corneum barrier. This allows delivery of a range of substances that would otherwise not be able to move into or across the skin. Though microneedles have significant potential as intradermal vaccine delivery systems, most microneedle designs are capable of only slow delivery of relatively low doses, meaning their utility is limited. Our Group has pioneered high-dose delivery from microneedles. In this exciting new interdisciplinary project, we will combine novel microneedle systems with chemical and electrochemical propellants so as to deliver high drug doses as rapidly as with a conventional needle and syringe. Such systems will be low-cost, self-disabling, readily disposable and used at home by patients, without the need for skilled healthcare workers. This will reduce NHS costs and minimise spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens in healthcare settings whilst improving health-related-quality-of-life for patients worldwide. In this project, the student will design and characterise novel microneedle systems using a range of innovative techniques. The student will work at the cutting edge of developments in a leading research Group, thus greatly enhancing their employability.

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