Starting period: September 2015

It has been demonstrated by MIT that using hydrodynamic flow focusing in microfluidic channels allows to control the precipitation of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) diblock copolymers – a model of biomaterial for drug delivery -. By varying flow rates, polymer composition, and polymer concentrations, monodisperse nanoparticle sizes were obtained, and their performances, as compared to traditional technologies, were more reproducible. This work shows that microfluidics finds applications for the development and optimization of polymeric nanoparticles in the emerging field of nanomedicine. One issue to address however, is the throughput of the microfluidic devices, too low for being used directely in the pharmaceutical field. Parallelization is needed.

The first objective of the PhD will thus be to investigate how microfluidic technology allows the formation of monodispersed multiple emulsions of potential interest in Pharmaceutical Sciences Field. These emulsions have the potential to be used as a Drug Delivery Systems “per se” or as as vectors for nanoparticles (using PLA, PLGA or PLA-PEG polymers) into which hydrophilic compounds could be incorporated. The second objective of the thesis will be to investigate how to raise the throughput, using parallelized microfluidics systems. Ophthalmic drugs, used in small quantities, may be a first application of this approach.

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