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Biobarriers and pharmaceutical design

Biobarriers

We focus on advancing the knowledge of the key physicochemical properties of biointerfaces, and how they determine the interactions with biomolecules in solution. For this we develop biomimetic systems that aim at mimicking in an easy to produce and reproducible manner specific biobarriers. Among the biobarriers of our interests are cellular membranes, the plant cell wall and blood vessels. Currently, we apply these biomimetic systems to improve our understanding on the onset and treatment of various diseases including atherosclerosis and bacterial infections.

Hydration of biological interfaces, proteins and nanoporous materials

Functional properties of biological and nanomaterials are strongly dependent on their interactions with the surrounding environment, where the presence of water in form of liquid or vapor is inevitable. We have a special interest in nanoporous materials, such as mesoporous silica, and we study their hydration, characterization and interactions with organic and bio- molecules. We also study the hydration of carbohydrate materials, for example cellulose. In the drug delivery field we work with interactions of solid excipients with water, hydration of proteins, hydration and phase transitions in lipids and hydration of biological barriers.

Pharmaceutical formulation

In the development of transdermal and topical formulations it is important to understand how formulation ingredients interact with the molecular components of the skin barrier and thereby influence its macroscopic barrier properties. Our research activities focus on effects of commonly used excipients and other chemicals, such as penetration enhancers, on the molecular, as well as the macroscopic, properties of the skin membrane. We also investigate how nanomaterials, such as mesoporous silica particles, can be used in controlled release applications. The advantage of mesoporous silica, such as MCM-41 and SBA-15, is that these materials have remarkable properties due to their well-defined structure with tunable pore diameter and narrow pore size distribution, which can be optimized for loading and controlled release of drugs or biomolecules.

Transdermal and mucosal drug delivery

The skin barrier (the stratum corneum, SC) is an effective permeability barrier. Despite this the skin is an attractive alternative to the oral route for drug delivery because it avoids first pass metabolic degradation, which can be an important advantage for certain drugs. Two common strategies overcome the skin barrier, for increased transdermal drug delivery, are to increase the skin hydration and to add a penetration enhancer. Our research focuses on how hydration affects the skin permeability, with and without penetration enhancers. Our approach is to combine several experimental methods to obtain both macroscopic and molecular scale information on how hydration and penetration enhancers influence the stratum corneum.

Ongoing projects

 

Biomimetic membranes for revealing the function and structure relationship of menbrane bound proteins and other biomolecules

Biopolymer based food delivery systems - BIBAFOODS

Dermal drug delivery - How to increase bioavailability in viable skin

Effects of chemical penetration enhancers on skin barrier function.

Effects of pharmaceutical excipients on molecular mobility, permeability, and electrical impedance of the skin barrier.

Electrochemical monitoring of native catalase activity in skin using skin covered oxygen electrode

ESS & MAX IV: Cross Border Science and Society

Experimental studies of hydration of polyhydroxyalkanoates

Hydration and dehydration studies of mesoporous silica films by humidity scanning QCM-D

Lipoprotein structure in the bulk and at the surface of vessel wall components

Kinetics of starch gelatinization

Pickering emulsions on skin

Last updated by Magdalena Almén