Microcavity Array Supported Lipid Bilayers; Biomimetic Test Beds for Drug–Membrane Interactions
Start date: Mar 4, 2014,
End date: Mar 3, 2016
The proposed research programme will advance the state of the art in nanostructured array preparation. This will be achieved by utilising microcavity arrays generated via standard nanosphere lithographic approaches and reproducibly introducing additional nanostructures via plasmonically directed growth. The resulting arrays will lead to greater optical signal enhancement due to the additional plasmonic coupling and focusing generated by the extra metallic structures. Importantly, these arrays will not only lead to increased plasmonic activity but will be reproducibly prepared, unlike current approaches used to enhance the activity of microcavity arrays.Nanostructured arrays of this nature can be used to enhance optical signals such as those generated in Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. Therefore, following their development they will be used in the preparation of a novel drug permeability assay. Biomimetic lipid bilayers, representing natural cell membranes, will be supported on the arrays and the interaction of drug molecules of interest monitored via metal enhanced fluorescence, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance.The proposed approach will result in the measurement of a dissociation constant for specific drug-membrane combinations. This dissociation constant will be an improved parameter compared to the currently utilised partition coefficient that is measured for drugs between two immiscible liquids. An improved insight into drug-membrane interactions, such as those provided by the proposed novel drug permeability assay, will have significant impacts in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical fields. Product development will be better informed at a much earlier stage and only the most promising targets advanced to the more expensive in vitro and in vivo testing stages. This will ensure products are successfully brought to market quicker than currently happens and savings are made within the development pipeline.
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