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Understanding the physico-chemical basis of transdermal drug delivery using nanomaterials (NANOLEM)
Start date: May 1, 2014, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Drug delivery transport across the cell membrane involves many biological processes. It is complex and dynamic in nature. In this regard, model lipid membranes which mimic many aspects of cell membrane lipids, are a very useful membrane model. It has been shown that physical characteristics of drug delivery nanoparticles such as polarity and surface charge can significantly influence their interactions with lipids. A clear understanding of the interactions of lipids with drug delivery systems and their transport mechanisms is required to enable the design of an efficient and biologically compatible drug delivery vehicle.The aim of this project is to focus on the physico-chemical understanding of the relationships between the structure of the nanoparticles and their penetration and efficiency as a drug delivery vehicle. In this research, we wish to clarify the mechanisms involved in the interactions between nanogels and dermal membranes and find out how these are influenced by physico-chemical conditions and the morphology of the nanogels. The outcome of this research would aid the design of the next generation of dermal delivery systems and also contribute to the risk assessment of skin exposure to nanoparticles.The scientific challenges to be investigated in this project will focus on the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of interaction between organic nanomaterials and biological barriers, in particular skin. The project will benefit from the combination of high level experimental facilities available in the Host Institute and the longstanding expertise of the group in the development of novel functional nanomaterials for drug delivery applications as well as experience in the area of understanding the biological processes and potential drug targets (by means of e.g. neutron scattering and reflectivity) with the knowledge and experience acquired by the applicant on nanoparticle synthesis, their physico-chemical characterization and interactions.

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