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Title: Chitosan-graphene nanocomposite microneedle arrays for transdermal drug delivery
Author: Justin, Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 7136
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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The project focused on the hypothesis that degradable, polymer microneedle arrays are a promising alternative to traditional drug delivery routes, offering the patient a painless, high concentration, and quick delivery of therapeutics through the skin. This project explored chitosan-graphene nanocomposites as potential materials for microneedle arrays; the addition of graphene to chitosan is believed to yield improved mechanical properties and electrical conductivity over pristine chitosan, which will allow for long and slender microneedles and for electrically stimulated drug delivery, and may positively affect the degradation and drug delivery properties of chitosan. Graphene derivatives, such as graphene oxide, reduced graphene oxide, graphene quantum dots, and magnetic graphene quantum dots were synthesised and then characterised, before they were used as the filler within chitosan nanocomposites. Their effect at varying concentrations upon the mechanical properties, electrical conductivity, drug release, and enzymatic degradation rate of chitosan were assessed. It was determined that reduced graphene oxide was the optimum nanoparticle to reinforce chitosan, achieving the best mechanical and electrical conductivity properties of the nanocomposites. Chitosan-graphene nanocomposite microneedle arrays were shown to passively release small molecular weight drugs at a high delivery quantity and rate. Conductive chitosan-graphene nanocomposite microneedles were tested to determine the effect of electrical stimulation on the release of large molecular weight drugs from the nanocomposite, with substantial improvements in the release rate of large molecular weight drugs when compared to passive diffusion. The microneedle arrays were shown to survive the force of insertion through compressive loading. The depth of penetration of the microneedles was determined through cross-sectional analysis of chicken skin.
Supervisor: Chen, Biqiong Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available