In correspondence to the current challenges of DDS, the key objectives of the proposed project are:
- Development of innovative production technologies for nanocapsules as a drug delivery system with highest possible encapsulation efficiencies using centrifugation, colloidal and fluid mechanical techniques.
- Versatility of the encapsulation technologies for a wide class of hydrophilic, amphiphilic and/or lipophilic active substances. The novel techniques should be especially suited for proteins and other sensitive biomolecules which are vulnerable to degradation by thermal, pH or organic solvent conditions used in existing encapsulation technologies.
- Tailor-made nanocapsule shells to allow different functionalities for the inside and outside leaflets of the shells.
- Complete encapsulation of active substances without expensive downstream purification processes. Non-encapsulated API can stimulate antibody formation6 and dramatically reduce the efficiency of the therapy.
- Development of a polymer system covering the nanocapsules. This polymer cover has to enable long circulation times of the DDS without provoking any innate or specific immune reactions by the complement, the coagulation and the phagocytic systems9. Other than established polymer protection systems, the novel polymer protection should not be immunogenic to avoid accelerated blood clearance upon repeated administration.
- Testing of the novel DDS for stability in human blood in vitro. Investigation of encapsulated showcase API with specific endocytosis mechanisms in suitable cancer models in vitro and in vivo to compare drug efficiency, immune reactions and organ distribution of encapsulated and non encapsulated API.
- Promotion of multidisciplinary research and innovation in nanotechnology for nanomedicine. Multidisciplinarity shall be achieved by collaboration in a intersectoral research team comprising mechanical and process engineering, pharmaceutical technology, immunology and cancer research.