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Nanoengineered microneedle arrays for enhanced and sustained delivery of the poorly soluble drug fenretinide

Grant number: 21/06919-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Biomedical Engineering - Bioengineering
Principal Investigator:Luciana Biagini Lopes
Grantee:Alexsandra Conceição Apolinário
Supervisor: Ryan Francis Donnelly
Research place: Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland  
Associated to the scholarship:18/14375-0 - Nanotechnology-based topical delivery systems for breast cancer chemoprevention, BP.PD


Despite the high incidence of breast cancer, there are few chemoprevention strategies available to the high-risk population. Since drug presence only in the mammary tissue is required for chemoprevention, local drug application to the breasts via local-transdermal therapy (LTT) or intradermal administration can offer efficacy, less systemic adverse effects and improved compliance compared to systemic approaches. In this context, our group has studied the topical delivery of fenretinide (FENR), an analog of all-trans retinoic acid that has been reported as a breast cancer chemopreventive drug candidate by acting in multiple steps of the carcinogenic progression. We have successfully employed nanoformulations to increase the apparent solubility and penetration of sparkling soluble drugs like FENR but recognize the need of a platform that enables self-application of the FENR-loaded nanoformulations with the possibility of prolonged release to reduce the frequency of administration and improve adherence to treatment. Here, we propose to collaborate with Dr. Ryan Donnelly's group and combine nanotechnology with dissolving microneedles array patches (MAPs) to overcome the stratum corneum barrier and provide enhanced and prolonged delivery of FENR into the skin upon dissolution of the polymer. MAPs will be obtained using ethosomes and nanocrystals of FENR (to improve the dug apparent solubility), the device will be characterized and drug delivery to and across the skin will be assessed. We believe that a research internship in the Ryan Donnelly's research group will an excellent opportunity to achieve these goals, since Prof. Donnelly is currently one of the most prominent researchers in field of MAPs technology. (AU)

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