Development of novel microwave precipitation for nanoparticle fabrication
The application of nanotechnology for designing food microstructures is increasing exponentially. They are mainly used to overcome the pharmacokinetic mismatch (low solubility, stability, bioavailability etc.) associated with bioactive compounds (compounds isolated from plants and animal sources with health benefits).
Nanoparticles can be fabricated either through a bottom-up approach or top-down approach. The bottom-up approach in comparison to the top-down approach, produces nanoparticles starting at the atomic level. This provides better control over its size distribution, morphology as compared to top-down methods. However most of the fabrication methods which are in use for a bottom up approach are not suitable for industrial application due to their toxicity, non scalability etc.
Microwave technology is emerging as an alternative energy source for industrial applications due to some of its properties like non-contact heating, higher level of safety and automation of the instrument, higher flexibility or selective heating of materials etc. These are the extremely novel factors that minimize toxicity, scalability and industrial feasibility issues. Thus it will be a novel approach to use microwave-assisted precipitation to fabricate nanoparticles, which are tailor made for application in food products.
Research Project Objectives:
1. Pre-formulation study of excipients (which will be selected for fabrication of nanoparticles) to verify their stability and compatibility in complex food products.
2. Fabrication of lipid nanoparticles using a microwave precipitation technique (solvent and antisolvent precipitation/ solvent evaporation) and studying the effect of different compositions, processing parameters and operating parameters on physico-chemical characteristics of the formed lipid nanoparticles
3. Development of a product prototype to study the stability and effect of fabricated nanoparticle inclusion within the product matrix on their organoleptic properties (mouth feel, stability, appearance etc.).
Funding available for EU/UK students only. Applicants should have obtained an Honours Degree or equivalent at 2.1 or above in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or related disciplines
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FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.50
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