Engineering: Swansea University Excellence Research Scholarship: Microneedle Based Theranostics Devices

Swansea University is proud to offer 15 fully-funded PhD scholarships for students commencing study in October 2018 or January 2019. The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of student excellence across a portfolio of 34 potential projects. Project details: This PhD studentship will develop microneedle based devices as novel theranostics paradigm. Microneedles offer a minimally invasive route to transdermal therapeutic drug delivery and diagnostic applications. However, a combined MN diagnostic and therapeutic device (theranostic) is highly novel. The proposed theranostic platform will unite diagnostic and therapeutic applications in a single microneedle (MN) device, allowing drug delivery and treatment response monitoring. Treatment of cancer by targeting tumour sites using functionalised nanoparticles, followed by stimulation of these nanoparticles to destroy cancerous tissue, is a classic example of a theranostics device. Therapeutic MN drug delivery device: The therapeutic aspect of the theranostic MN will be used for transdermal drug delivery – which overcomes several drawbracks presented by oral drug delivery (e.g.MN transdermal delivery avoids first pass through and reduced bioavailability). Transdermal drug delivery has thus garnered greater interest in the pharmaceutical industry and indeed, the world wide “transdermal patch” market is estimated at $32 billion even though it is limited to a very small number (<20) of drugs. Current patches rely on passing small drug molecules through the skin. MN delivery allows a much wider range of larger drug molecules to be delivered transdermally. Transdermal drug delivery assisted by MNs is advantageous as it penetrates the stratum corneum of the skin, thereby allowing the drugs formulations to diffuse through the skin layers and consequently increasing the drug bioavailability - thus increasing treatment efficacy. In addition, our unique hollow MNs will allow a significantly larger drug

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