Drug Delivery & Disposition

Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The research objectives of Drug Delivery and Disposition are focused on enhancing drug bioavailability of dosage forms for extravascular administration using pharmaceutical-technological approaches (new drug formulations and process technology) as well as biopharmaceutical strategies (based on knowledge of mechanisms underlying drug absorption and hepatobiliary disposition). Significant contributions have been made in the understanding of the physicochemical principles behind formulation strategies for poorly soluble drugs like amorphous solid dispersions, nanoparticles, and mesoporous drug loaded silica. The Laboratory innovates in the development of preclinical models for ADMETox profiling; these model systems include in situ intestinal perfusion in mice (enabling the use of KO and humanized mice in intestinal absorption studies) and hepatocyte-based prediction of drug-induced cholestasis.

Drug Delivery and Disposition has a strong track record in the biorelevant profiling of intestinal drug absorption, covering all underlying processes including dissolution, precipitation, degradation and permeation. For this purpose, a wide range of simulation models is available, including the in vitro Caco-2 cell culture system, the Ussing chamber system and the in situ intestinal perfusion system. In addition, Drug Delivery and Disposition is able and licensed to perform whole animal absorption and pharmacokinetic experiments. Physiology-based pharmacokinetic modelling (Simcyp® Simulator) is available to extrapolate experimental data to human pharmacokinetics. One of the major targets involves the biorelevant and predictive evaluation of absorption-enabling strategies, including solubilization and supersaturation of poorly soluble drugs. In this respect, Drug Delivery and Disposition has elaborated a ground-breaking approach for evaluating intraluminal drug and formulation behavior in humans, involving the aspiration and characterization of gastrointestinal fluids. All absorption studies are supported by well-developed analytical equipment (LC-UV, -fluo, -MS/MS) to assess concentrations of drugs, excipients and endogenous compounds in biological matrices.