Internationally recognized Aerosol Research Group
Our research is concerned with the optimal design and evaluation of aerosol drug delivery systems designed to target drugs to and via the lung. Effects of physical, chemical and formulation factors are studied, as well as the impact of aerosol generation device. These are related to our ability to deliver drugs by inhalation and target them to specific lung regions. Aerosols are characterized and evaluated in terms of particle size, shape, physical form and drug release characteristics in vitro and in vivo. In related research the effects of chemical structure and formulation variables are studied on absorption kinetics and lung disposition.
Aerosol Technology Research
Dr Hindle, in collaboration with Dr Worth Longest (Department of Mechanical Engineering), is combining computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with key in vitro characterization studies to improve aerosol inhaler mouthpiece technology, develop novel aerosol inhaler concepts and investigate aerosol deposition in realistic oropharyngeal models. Other projects are investigating particle formation techniques for combination inhalation drug products and the effects of /in vitro/ test methodologies on dry powder inhaler performance.
Dr Sakagami's research focuses on pulmonary biopharmaceutics. Despite the potential advantages of respiratory drug delivery as a route of administration, our knowledge associated with pulmonary biopharmaceutics and pharmacology is still limited. Our group has developed and employed several in vivo and in vitro lung systems to characterize pulmonary disposition (absorption, metabolism and clearance) of solutes and fluid, and to assess therapeutic potential of new molecular entities for inhalation. Currently, the research is focused on corticosteroids, therapeutic macromolecular peptides, proteins and antibodies for inhalation in the treatment of asthma, emphysema and certain systemic diseases. These studies will provide valuable information on understanding pulmonary biopharmaceutics and pharmacology for inhaled therapeutics.
Dr. da Rocha’s research is in the broad area of Nanomedicine and pulmonary drug delivery. Our long-range goal is to develop innovative drug and gene nanocarrier systems and their formulations for the regional delivery of therapeutics to and through epithelial barriers, with a focus on the lung epithelium. We seek to achieve our objective by engineering carriers with controlled morphology, size, and surface chemistry so as to control their interaction (and thus of the drug molecules) with the physiological environment. Such nanocarriers are of great relevance as they provide opportunities to achieve temporal and spatial controlled release, so as to target the payload to specific tissues/cell populations/ intracellular organelles, and at the same time to protect sensitive cargo. We study the interaction of the carriers at various biological interfaces, including in vitro and in vivo. We use a combined experimental and computational strategy to probe these interfaces at different length scales. Other systems of interest include the maternal-fetal interface, targeting bacterial biofilms and the bone tissue. Ours is a highly multidisciplinary team, involving visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students with different backgrounds form Molecular Biology, Polymer Science, Colloidal Physical Chemistry, Medical Sciences and Engineering.