Enhancing drug discovery

1st July 2019

Annalisa Tirella (left) helps PhD students Xue Bai (centre) and Leonidas Gkionis set up an experiment on the Dolomite system

A Dolomite Microfluidics set-up is helping researchers in the University of Manchester's Division of Pharmacy and Optometry to enhance drug delivery.

Dr Annalisa Tirella explained: "My background is bioengineering, where I gained expertise in biomaterials and fabrication techniques. At the beginning of my career, I focused my research on the design and manufacture of biomaterials to be used as in vitro models for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Now, I am applying this knowledge of micro-scale techniques to the microfluidic encapsulation of therapeutics in nanoparticles, to offer more efficient and effective targeted drug delivery. Currently, my research group is formulating PLGA drug delivery systems for oncology applications, and liposomes for the co-delivery of fat- and water-soluble therapeutics.
"I knew that the Dolomite Microfluidics system would also be ideal for our work in the North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery (NoWCADD). It is easy to use and robust, allows us to make both nano- and micro-particle drug delivery systems, and has the advantage that we can use custom chips to optimise the performance of our processes. The system is very flexible too; we can quickly and easily change parameters to test a prototype reaction using just a few microlitres of a preparation, minimising the costs involved. Importantly, the system gives us good control over our processes, eliminating batch-to-batch variation, which means that we can consistently and reliably produce nanoparticles. That's the really big benefit of the system."





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