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Transdermal and Topical Drug Delivery: developing novel formulations to increase drug delivery into and through skin

  • Full or part time
    Prof A Williams
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Human skin is a remarkable self-repairing barrier that controls the ingress of environmental contaminants and regulates water loss from the body. As such, it presents a formidable barrier to drug delivery for either local effects within the skin, or for delivering medicinal agents through the tissue into the systemic circulation. However, transdermal drug delivery has significant advantages in avoiding first pass metabolism and local delivery of drugs to treat skin disorders reduces systemic drug loads (Williams, A.C. “Transdermal and Topical Drug Delivery; from theory to clinical practice”, Pharmaceutical Press, 2003).

Applications are invited from self-funded candidates who wish to study aspects of transdermal and topical drug delivery. The project includes studies developing novel formulations to increase drug delivery into and through skin, for example using penetration enhancers, dispersions, colloidal systems or microneedles with a focus on controlled and targeted drug delivery systems. The project may also evaluate some of the underpinning physicochemical principles that govern drug delivery into skin, investigate strategies to enhance wound healing or investigate the use of natural products to treat skin disorders.

Researchers have access to state-of-the-art facilities providing broad-based training in research methodologies. Dependent on the needs of the project, these include use of synthetic chemistry facilities, analytical facilities including NMR, mass spectrometry, molecular spectroscopies (infrared and Raman), thermal analysis, X-ray diffractometry, fluorescence imaging and atomic and electron microscopies. Our laboratories are equipped with various Franz-type diffusion cells, drug release testing equipment and house cell culture facilities alongside standard items such as HPLC, UV/Vis spectrometers, and equipment to handle and prepare skin samples.

For informal enquiries, please email:

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold, or expect to shortly gain, a 2(i) or better degree in a related discipline.

How good is research at University of Reading in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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