About the lecture
Engineering Bubbles for Targeted Drug Delivery
A key challenge in the development of effective therapies for diseases such as cancer and stroke is delivering sufficiently high concentrations of drugs to a target site whilst minimizing exposure of healthy tissue.
Failure to achieve this can lead to serious side effects and greatly reduce the number of patients eligible for a given treatment. Moreover, numerous compounds that have shown excellent performance in laboratory trials simply cannot be translated into clinical use due to poor target uptake and/or unacceptable systemic toxicity.
One strategy that has shown considerable potential to address this challenge is the use of “stimuli responsive” drug delivery systems. Drugs are passivated by encapsulating them within a micro or nanoscale particle that is engineered to accumulate at a target site and can then be activated to release the drug in a highly localised manner.
The effectiveness of these techniques is however dependent upon the drug carrying particles having a predictable and reproducible response.
Research at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering has consequently focused on new encapsulation techniques to provide the necessary degree of control over particle characteristics.
In particular, the work has explored the use of microfluidic and electro-hydrodynamic techniques as alternatives to conventional methods for particle fabrication yielding significant improvements in particle uniformity and the ability to engineer nanoscale characteristics.
There remain however significant challenges in creating commercially viable devices that can be utilized for clinical products.
The funding from the IET A F Harvey Engineering Prize will enable the development of a new “sonofluidic” technique that combines the precision control of microfluidics with the superior surface characteristics provided by sonication and/or high shear emulsification methods.
18:00 - Registration and refreshments
18:30 - Lecture commences
20:00 - Drinks reception
21:00 - Close