The stability of solid state bio-formulations

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Department of Chemical Engineering


The stability of solid state particulate formulations which include bio-molecules are critical in the healthcare, food and consumer product markets. Whether the product it is an enzyme containing cleaning formulation or a protein based therapeutics, the stability of the product is important for the effective delivery of the relevant healthcare, nutritional or consumer benefits. An improved understanding of the stability of such products will support improved healthcare and as well as the more efficient and environmentally sound delivery of a range of consumer products from washing machine powders through to food products. This project will examine the stability both model and real world proteins and enzymes using a range of advanced experimental techniques. This work will include gravimetric and thermal analysis approaches. Of specific interest will be the effects of moisture and temperature on material performance/behaviour including diffusion and permeability, equilibrium moisture content as well as the impact on Tg. The factors that determine the intrinsic stability of the selected proteins and enzymes will be determined prior to moving into complex powder mixtures which incorporate these specific biologic species. In these bio-formulations we will look to map spectroscopically the moisture distribution through the materials using FTIR or NIR image under controlled moisture conditions. This behaviour will then be correlated with the final powder performance. Here the relationship between moisture stability and common powder problems such as caking and agglomeration will be established. This information will allow rational design principles to be applied to the preparation of bio-formulations. It is anticipated that the close relationship with Procter and Gamble and Imperial College will facilitate the maximum opportunity for commercial exploitation should such opportunities arise within the scope of this project. This in return allows the best possible change of improvements to the quality of like in the UK following on from this work programme. Where appropriate, commercially relevant intellectual property will be protected by patent applications, which may be licensed or spun-out through IC Innovations Ltd., the commercial exploitation arm of Imperial College in line with the standard terms for BBSRC studentship grants. Scientific results will be communicated via range of national and international relevant conferences, such as the UK Particle Technology Forum, following appropriate internal discussions between Procter and Gamble and Imperial College. It would be normal practice at Imperial College for a PhD student to give a number of posters and, in the later stages of their PhD, oral presentations, of their research results at such meetings. The proposed work is targeted at understanding the key relationship between formulation, processing conditions and product stability for solid state bio-formulations.


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