Interaction of intelligent drug delivery vehicles with model biomembranes
The recent shift in pharmaceutical companies’ focus towards development of therapeutic modalities intended to target internal cellular processes has created a demand for ‘intelligent’ delivery systems that can convey their payloads to the required intracellular site(s) to exert local action. On route to the target site(s), the delivery systems must cross not only the plasma membrane but also a variety of sub-cellular membranes – each of which has distinct composition and characteristics. In the project proposed here, the aim is to gain a fundamental understanding of the interaction of a range of ‘intelligent’ delivery systems with these various different membrane types.
Specifically, it is proposed to use a battery of interfacial techniques, including neutron reflectometry and ellipsometry, to explore how the delivery systems interact with biomimetic lipid monolayers. The delivery systems studied will include lipid nanoparticles, polymeric nanoparticles, vesicles, and nanoemulsions, while the lipid monolayers will be engineered to have compositions that mimic those of the cell and sub-cellular membranes that would be encountered by thedelivery systems in vivo. At the culmination of this research, the knowledge gained will afford a more rational approach to be followed in the design of improved delivery systems developed to target specific intracellular sites of action.
University of Manchester