Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Pillar 3 - Translational Pharmaceutics & Bioengineering

The School has a range of active research programmes in the drug delivery field that focus on translational pharmaceutics and bioengineering. The Drug Delivery Core in the School is currently involved in projects developing novel delivery strategies for the treatment of a range of clinical conditions including cancer, inflammation, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and regenerative medicine including bone, cardiovascular and respiratory tissue engineering.

Pillar investigators (Cryan, Kelly, O'Leary) and their researchers are part of RCSI Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) that works extensively with the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE). The School led RCSI's participation in the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Irish Drug Delivery Network and currently leads RCSI's participation in the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Device. Pillar Researchers are also actively involved in international research programmes through EU FP7 including AMCARE and NeoGEL and in H2020 DRIVE, and in a range of contract and collaborative research projects with industry in addition to being part of Pharmacists in Industry, Education & Regulatory Affairs (PIER).

The key themes and areas of research within this pillar are:

• Drug development
»» pre-formulation drug analysis, drug formulation and pharmaceutical characterisation of conventional dosage forms including stability testing and preparation of dosage forms for pre-clinical testing
»» dosage forms for injection, inhalation, oral and topical administration

• Advanced pharmaceutical technologies including:
»» processing and screening of novel excipients and biomaterials development for controlled and targeted drug delivery including peptides, polymers and lipid based delivery systems
»» advanced processes for drug formulation including particle engineering and manufacture of nanoparticles, microparticles and drug-loaded matrices
»» advanced oral, parenteral and respiratory drug delivery technologies

• Molecular pharmaceutics and tools for translation for the delivery of biotech cargoes including:
»» gene-based medicines
»» protein and peptide-based therapeutics
»» stem-cell based therapies
»» vaccines 

• Convergent drug-device technologies development

• Bioengineering and tissue engineering
»» development of drug loaded scaffolds for applications in regenerative medicine
»» tissue engineered 3D models of human organs for drug toxicity and efficacy testing as advanced tools for translation 

Principal investigators:

Prof Sally Ann Cryan

Dr Helena Kelly 

Dr Sam Maher 

Dr Fiona O'Brien 

Mr Cian O'Leary 

Dr Zeibun Ramtoola