Research

visionOur mission is to develop drug delivery systems incorporating nanomaterials to expand the capabilities of today’s drug formulations towards more efficient diagnosis and treatment of diseases. We integrate expertise in nanomaterial and formulation engineering with biomarker discovery and drug delivery sciences to develop these novel nano-enabled drug formulations. A special focus is oral drug delivery for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases using an innovative theranostic platform with functional nanomaterials.

SCALABLE NANOMATERIAL SYNTHESIS 

flame coatingWe use flame spray pyrolysis for the scalable and reproducible manufacture of functional nanoparticles. We have advanced the flame synthesis of nanoparticles by developing a reactor that produces in a single step core-shell nanoparticles with fine and independent control over core particle properties and shell coating thickness. A wide spectrum of materials can be produced with this technology, such as magnetic (superparamagnetic iron oxide: SPION), plasmonic (Au, Ag) or luminescent (nanophosphors) nanoparticles. We employ rigorous solid state characterization of our nanomaterials to ensure reproducibility. Silica (SiO2) is chosen as shell material as it is the most preferred coating material for biomedical applications due to its chemical stability and biocompatibility. It also enables the facile surface functionalization of such nanoparticles with targeting ligands to selected disease biomarkers.

PARTICLE-STABILIZED EMULSIONS FOR DRUG DELIVERY

capsuleEmulsions stabilized by colloidal particles at the oil-water interface, the so-called Pickering emulsions, have demonstrated high potential as drug delivery systems or imaging agents. The beneficial properties of such formulations include high stability, adjustable permeability, improved biocompatibility without the addition of surfactants as well as controlled and targeted release of active substances. We have shown that silica nanoparticles non-covalently modified with chitosan biopolymer effectively stabilize oil-in-water emulsions. These emulsions can solubilize poorly-water soluble drug substances and thus act as oral drug delivery systems. Furthermore, these emulsions are suitable for 3D printing of personalized dosage forms, e.g. minitablets for children. 

SUPERPARAMAGNETIC IRON OXIDE NANOPARTICLES FOR BIOIMAGING AND HYPERTHERMIA-TRIGGERED DRUG RELEASE 

SPIONAdvanced theranostic concepts involving the use of iron oxide nanoparticles continue to be of prime interest for biomedical applications due to the many beneficial properties of this material. We produce superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) using our enclosed flame reactor. The crystallinity of the the in situ flame-coated product SPION can be finely tuned and most importantly, the magnetic properties are not affected by the nanothin SiO2 coating. In fact, the silica coating improves magnetic hyperthermia to reach clinically relevant values and the nanoparticles are viable as MRI contrast agents with a relaxivity rate comparable to that of commercial inorganic MRI agents. We are currently developing a theranostic plaform for orally delivered SPION. 

RESEARCH FUNDING

Our lab has received funding from: 

  • SciLifeLab
  • Astra Zeneca
  • Magnus Bergvalls stiftelse
  • NordForsk