Research activities performed by “Transport Phenomena and Processes” group deal with several topics of chemical and process engineering, in pharmaceutical, food and new materials fields.
Research activities develop mainly, even if not exclusively, dealing with the following topics:
- Analysis of the drug release by hydrogel-based delivery systems. In this activity, the group has detailed novel measurement methods to quantify the variables and the phenomena involved (drug released, water up-take, swelling degree, eroded polymer), and a mathematical model fully descriptive of the phenomena, potentially predictive of the systems’ behavior, based on transient mass balances.
- Production and characterization of novel delivery systems based:
- on biocompatible and natural polymers, as micro-particles produced by ultrasound-assisted atomization and microwave-assisted drying, and as nano-particles obtained by solvent evaporation from multiple emulsions; and
- on by-layer lipidic vescicles (liposomes), obtained by sonication cicles and administered also on ex-vivo tissues.
- Analysis of pharmacokinetics of the active principles, i.e. of the release kinetics and distribution kinetics of the pharmacolgical active molecules within the living bodies, by two main approaches:
- in-vitro, i.e. developing apparatuses and protocols for the testing of pharmaceuticals, as close as possible to the real physiology (systems able to reproduce the temporal profiles of pH and/or the mechanics of the stomach contraction, systems able to mimic the absorption through the intestinal wall); and
- in-silico, i.e. through the development of mathematical models able to simulate the behavior of human body (transient mass balances within regions of the body, accountin also for metabolic and excretion processes, and of the release kinetics and of the transport phenomena involved in distribution).