Halimah will be undertaking her research in the laboratory of Dr Michael Cook in the Topical Drug Delivery and Toxicology research centre. Halimah's project will develop temperature-responsive branched copolymer surfactants (BCSs) to produce emulsions which dramatically increase in viscosity upon warming from room to body temperature. These “thermogelling” systems have several topical applications, for instance in vaginal drug delivery, where the material can flow through an applicator, then increase in viscosity upon entry to the vagina, improving retention of the dosage form whilst reducing messiness. Halimah will synthesise a range of BCSs of varying composition, characterise their molecular weight and composition, and undertake a rigorous rheological evaluation of their ability to form temperature-responsive emulsions. These materials would offer exiting new platforms for mucosal drug delivery.
Congratulations Halimah – we look forward to hearing how you get on!