Delivery of an effective dose of a drug specifically to its target cells increases its efficacy and reduces side effects, and our research investigates bioactive molecules and biocompatible materials for their potential as drug carriers, bioadhesives, therapeutic and diagnostic agents, and surgical implants.
Through our drug delivery research, we're helping to create targeted, safe and effective medicines to positively impact patients' lives. We're engineering and developing translatable nanomedicines and new targeted treatments for brain diseases and tumours, and nano-enabled medicines that improve the ability of existing anti-infective drugs to treat infectious and parasitic diseases.
Unlike soluble, 'free' drugs which spread though the body in a more uncontrolled way, these medicines can be delivered via nanoscale carriers to specific parts of the body where a disease occurs, making them more effective and less likely to cause side-effects to the patient.
We’ve also engineered novel bio-inks made with natural substances and actual human cells, which are less likely to be rejected by a patient's body – and which are therefore improving targeted drug release and natural tissue regeneration. We've also developed new materials for wound-healing and composite bioceramics for bone regeneration.
We’ve developed materials with anti-fouling properties that inhibit bacterial binding and help prevent the spread or worsening of infection. We've led the development of age-appropriate medicines, such as orally administered films and tablets that are helping avoid errors in treatment and improving the management of neonatal patients. We're also identifying drugs capable of being 'repurposed' to treat other diseases – such as an anti-HIV drug that's now being considered for use to help treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Our work in this field has led to a number of industrially-held patents, such as those held by Aikaterini Lalatsa.
Our research focuses on the following topics
- Cell biology
- Drug delivery
- Drug absorption
- Topical delivery
- Drug design and discovery
- Molecular modelling
- Brain tumour
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Medicinal chemistry
- Synthetic organic chemistry
- Preclinical testing
- Ion channel biophysics
We frequently collaborate with researchers from other disciplines – such as clinicians and engineers – within the University, and with industrial partners and the National Health Service (NHS). Our research projects have been funded by major organisations, including Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and GlaxoSmithKline.
We have significant expertise in formulation science, chemistry and materials science, with a focus on synthesis and characterisation of nanoparticles, polymers, peptide-polymer conjugates, 3D printing, tissue engineering scaffolds and bioceramics. We’re home to one of the best equipped pharmaceutical science research laboratories in the south of the UK.
Our drug delivery research has been published widely including in the Journal of Nanomedicine, Molecular Pharmacology and the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.
Nature volume 524, pages 74–78, 2015, Peng Guo, Jiho Shin, Alex G. Greenaway, Jung Gi Min, Jie Su, Hyun June Choi, Leifeng Liu, Paul A. Cox, Suk Bong Hong, Paul A. Wright, Xiaodong Zou
Drug Discovery Today Volume 22, Number 1, 2017, Prina Mehta, Rita Haj-Ahmad, Manoochehr Rasekh, Muhammad S. Arshad, Ashleigh Smith, Susanna M. van der Merwe, Xiang Li, Ming-Wei Chang and Zeeshan Ahmad
Discover our areas of expertise
We're looking at the architecture and function of the nervous system – and how it relates to development, normal health, and neurological disorders.
We're exploring the molecules and molecular processes that cause diseases, and working to develop better treatments.
We're researching how microbes can cause infectious diseases and benefit human health, and tackling antibiotic resistance by identifying new molecules in pathogenic microbes.