About the Project
Hyaluronic acid (HA), a major component of synovial fluid, has been used predominantly in the formulation of viscosupplementation because it increases the viscosity of the aqueous solution notably. However, studies have demonstrated that HA is no longer effective when the sliding interface, e.g. synovial joint, is operated under boundary lubrication regime.
To ensure the lubrication in a degenerative joint whilst delivering anti-inflammatory medication over a long period, sub-micron particle with functional surface coating is an ideal platform. Our previous studies have demonstrated that biocompatible polymer coating carrying phosphorylcholine group has great potential to mitigate the interfacial friction. And poly(ionic liquid), a new type of polyelectrolyte, could be a suitable alternative.
Formulate a range of hybrid nanoparticle suspension that is biocompatible and effective in reducing friction as a novel platform to treat arthritis.
The objectives of this proposed work are to:
1. Synthesise a range of hybrid nanoparticles based on the polymers examined extensively in this group
2. Work closely with collaborator based in Wuhan University of Technology to examine the applicability of poly(ionic liquid) as a suitable surface coating
3. Characterise bulk stability and mechanical properties of individual particles
4. Integration of nanoparticle-based suspension
5. Optimise and validate the new formulation
Training & opportunities
This project provides the PhD candidate with a perfect opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary environment with elements of Physical Chemistry, Biomaterial, and medical practice. Laboratory skills including polymer synthesis, and characterization such as Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM), and nanotribometer will be offered in this project along with knowledge of biomedical engineering and formulation engineering. It will also be possible to participate in international conferences and training schools.
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