The Universitaet des Saarlandes (USAAR) was founded in 1948 in co-operation with France forming the basis for its strong international orientation (e.g. through the Frankreichinstitut or the Europazentrum). The university with its 8 faculties has more than 15,000 students of which 7 percent are foreign students. Of the 2000 employees, 15 percent have professorial status.
The central research theme of the department of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology is drug delivery across biological barriers, in particular the intestinal mucosa, the skin and the lungs. The department has strong expertise in the preparation and characterisation of nanoscaled drug carriers, as well as the setup of new in vitro models to study transport mechanisms at epithelial barriers and their interaction with nanoscaled drug carriers.
Activities in the project
USAAR will adapt its 3D model of the inflamed intestinal mucosa to the InLiveTox conditions and to high-throughput applications thus allowing the integration of the cell culture model into the InLiveTox system and a coupling with organ models of the liver and/or the cardiovascular system via microfluidic pumps. USAAR will test NP toxicity at the healthy and inflamed intestinal mucosa in this 3D model as well as in the integrated 3D system. Furthermore, USAAR will be involved in the characterisation of physicochemical properties and agglomeration behaviour of NP under InLiveTox conditions as well as in the establishment of protocols for toxicity testing.
Expertise in these activities / Previous experiences
The transport of drug carriers across the intestinal epithelial barrier and the interaction of NP with the barrier are in the focus of the department’s research. Having previously established a 3D model of the inflamed intestinal mucosa for targeted drug delivery in MediTrans, this model is to be applied and further refined for nano-toxicological studies. The group has particular experience in the formulation/preparation and characterisation of NP and in studies on NP toxicity at the pulmonary, skin and gastrointestinal barrier.
Key people involved
Prof Dr CM Lehr is full professor and department head; studied pharmacy in Germany, PhD (1991) from Leiden Univeryity (The Netherlands), postdoctoral training at USC (Los Angeles, USA, 92), other appointments at Leiden University (93) and Marburg University (Germany, 94). CRS Young Investigator Award (2001), APV Research Award in Pharmaceutcal Sciences (2006). Coordinator, work package leader and beneficiary in several national and EU projects, mainly related to nanotechnology and nanomedicine, such as the FP6 IP CellProm and the FP7 IP MediTrans, as well as several national projects, such as BMBF NanoCare, BMBF NanoInhale, BMBF NanoStarch, and BMBF NanoCancer.
Dr. Eva-Maria Collnot project leader, studied pharmacy at USAAR (2003-2007) doctoral studies on the interaction of pharmaceutical excipients with efflux transporters of the intestinal mucosa with Prof Lehre (summa cum laude, 2007), currently (til 10/08) post doctoral training in the USA (Pharmacogenetics, Prof. W. Sadee, USU, Ohio) Assistant WP-Project leader in EU project MediTrans.
Karin Schuller (M.A.) is the administrative head of the GALENOS Central Network Office and coordinating the fellow’s individual training programs, network-wide accompanying courses and responsible for all administrative issues of the Euro-PhD certificates
Some relevant publications / Patent