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Nanoparticle delivery of antibiotics for treatment of pulmonary infection


School of Pharmacy

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Dr V Kett , Dr M Tunney Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

In respiratory diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and COPD, the lungs are colonized by diverse polymicrobial bacterial communities. Inhaled antibiotics are currently only used in the treatment of chronic P. aeruginosa infection in CF and a major challenge with such treatment is antibiotic penetration into sputum. We have developed formulations with excellent powder properties for pulmonary delivery. We have extensive data to show that several antibiotics used in the treatment of chronic lung infection can be encapsulated in these formulations.
The aim of this project will be to determine the activity of nanoparticle encapsulated antibiotics against a wide range of pathogens detected in the lung microbiome. In vitro activity will be determined using planktonic and biofilm models of infection under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, similar to those found in sputum in the lungs of CF patients. In vivo activity will be determined using sputum from patients with lung infection. Depending on results, further formulation studies may be undertaken to optimize antimicrobial activity. Extensive training will be provided throughout the project as part of internationally renowned research teams

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Molecular Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a closely related discipline. Students who have a 2.2 honours degree and a Master’s degree may also be considered, but the School reserves the right to shortlist for interview only those applicants who have demonstrated high academic attainment to date
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