Advanced Drug Delivery Group
Advanced Drug Delivery explores the most effective means of delivering drugs to their intended sites. The Faculty has a particular expertise in the study of microparticles and aerosol dynamics for potential nasal, pulmonary and oral delivery of drugs. Understanding and responding to individual variations in drug actions includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenomics, and seeks to identify mechanisms at the cellular level that can account for individual differences in drug reactions.
The Advanced Drug Delivery Group at the Faculty of Pharmacy is focussed on understanding physical properties of materials used in pharmaceutical sciences and relating those to in-vitro and subsequent in-vivo performance. More specifically, the group's main focus is in respiratory drug delivery science. The group consists of three key academic personnel, Prof Kim Chan, Dr Paul M Young and Dr Daniela Traini, which act synergistically to cover all areas of both pMDI and DPI technology. In addition the group has some 3 full time post-doctorate staff, a technician and numerous postgraduate research students.
The advanced drug delivery research facilities are state of the art, and cover all aspects of physical-chemical characterisation, computational and in-vitro characterisation.
Basic research facilities within the Advanced Drug Delivery Group include comprehensive in-vitro characterisation (multiple NGI, ACI and MSLI work stations), chemical analysis (HPLC, HPLC/MS, UV/VIS etc), surface characterisation (true density, gas adsorption, moisture sorption (DVS), surface energy, contact angle etc) and particle characterisation techniques (Malvern Mastersizer 2000, SprayTec, multiple Aerosizers, scanning electron microscopy etc).
Advanced Materials Characterisation
In addition to the basic aerosol characterisation techniques described previously, the group have access to a series of advanced techniques at there disposal including atomic force microscopy (AFM), colloidal probe microscopy, electrostatic aerosol characterisation (ELPI, ESPART), organic DVS, scanning Raman microscopy, Environmental scanning electron Raman microscopy and inverse gas chromatography (IGC). These techniques allow direct incite into how surface morphology and chemistry influence in vitro performance parameters.
Recently, the group have established strong links with computation physicists/material scientists and engineers to expand the knowledge of material structure, interaction and motion in flow fields (force-field molecular interactions, crystal prediction, discrete element and computational fluid dynamic modelling). These techniques are further enhanced through advanced imaging techniques (such as particle imaging velocimetry (PIV). Again, as with the advanced materials characterisation tools, this approach can be better used to predict particle aerosolisation, break-up charging and respiratory deposition.
In collaboration with the Department of Nuclear Medicine (Sydney) the Advanced Drug Delivery Group has research studies undertaking cutting edge 3-dimensional (SPECT) gamma scintigraphy studies of drug deposition in the lung. Similarly, expertises are available to study interactions of inhalation formulations with biological systems at the fundamental cell level, as well as in mammalian in vivo models.