Abdallah Bukari, 2010, Chemical Engineering

The purpose of this internship was to research with the Prudíhomme group a novel drug delivery system for the administration of tuberculosis therapeutics. This delivery system, which can be incorporated into current therapeutic regimens, will quickly and efficiently kill off a large percentage of the infection in a short time, reducing the duration of therapy and frequency of dosing needed. The improved performance of this regimen is derived from the design of the NP system.  Usually, there is little control over the release and biodistribution of combination therapy drugs in circulation.  A NP system which co-encapsulates active drugs and is efficiently taken up into macrophages ensures controlled release of both drugs at the infection site and thus more efficient killing of the bacteria. We utilized a Flash Nano-Precipitation (FNP), a continuous process developed by the Prudíhomme group for the encapsulation of highly lipophilic active pharmaceutical ingredients in polymer protected NPs, to co-encapsulate a currently marketed anti-tubercular drug (rifampicin) and recently discovered peptidoglycan-inhibiting drugs (SQ641, SQ922, SQ997). Active targeting techniques, such as receptor-specific ligands, were incorporated into the NP design to provide control over biodistribution of NPs. NPs were tested for stability and size distribution over time. Additionally, we tried methods to concentrate suspended NPs in solution.