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Dr Alison Paul  -  PhD, MRSC


  • Polymer mediated drug-delivery systems
    • Polymer-drug and polymer-protein conjugates
    • Polymer excipients for inhalation drug delivery from hydrofluoroalkanes (HFAs)
  • Physicochemical characterisation of macromolecules in solution
    • Relationships between molecular structure, solution conformation and therapeutic function.
  • Formulation in colloidal systems
    • Emulsions, microemulsions and particle suspensions
  • Self-assembling systems, including functionalised surfactants

There is a considerable demand for new and more effective drug-delivery systems to target a wide variety of diseases.  The majority of my research focuses on the use of polymers in drug delivery; as additives for drug particle suspension or emulsion stabilisation, or the targeted delivery of drugs and proteins via conjugation (covalent attachment) to a polymer.

Our aim is to enhance understanding of interactions in pharmaceutical formulations, particularly the stabilising interactions between polymer molecules and fluorinated solvents (such as those used in pressurised metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs)), and also how polymer based drug delivery systems behave and interact within the body.  To this end we study multi-component solutions designed to mimic the conditions encountered in the biological environment.  This approach allows us to identify correlations between molecular architecture, solution behaviour and therapeutic activity. This in turn will facilitate the targeted design of future drug-delivery systems building on the structure-activity relationships developed.

Projects include the targeted synthesis of both model and therapeutically relevant polymer-drug and polymer-protein conjugates, and their extensive characterisation by NMR, UV-VIS/IR/fluorescence spectroscopy. Solution properties are studied by two dimensional NMR methods (relaxation and diffusion), neutron/light/X-ray scattering and reflection, including experiments at central facilities such as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, Oxford, UK and Institut-Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France.

We also work collaboratively with UK and internationally based colleagues in pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, drug development, medicine, theoretical chemistry and physics.