Rachel Wong, North East

Rachel started her PhD within the department of Pharmacy Health and Well-Being at the University of Sunderland in October 2013. Her area of research focuses on developing a novel polymeric hydrogel film for dermatological application. The delivery of drugs across the skin has always been a challenge due to the stratum corneum (outermost layer of skin) acting as a formidable barrier to limit the entry of water and foreign substances from the environment into the body. She hopes her work will contribute to new knowledge in the formulation of polymeric hydrogels and ultimately to optimised drug delivery via the skin.

Prior to that, she graduated with an MPharm degree from the University of Sunderland in 2012 and completed her pre-registration training with Boots before qualifying as a Pharmacist. Alongside her PhD studies, Rachel also currently works as a demonstrator in undergraduate laboratory classes and occasionally works as a locum in community pharmacies on weekends.

Effect of Photoinitiator Concentration on the Properties of Unmedicated Hydrogels

Hydrogels are materials mainly constructed by the three-dimensional crosslinking of hydrophilic polymers. Their unique properties such as high water content, biocompatibility and flexibility give rise to potential applications in topical or transdermal drug delivery. Novel polyethylene oxide (PEO) hydrogel films were synthesized via ultraviolet (UV) crosslinking with varying concentrations of pentaerythritol tetra-acrylate (PETRA) as crosslinking agent.

One of the key parameters to yield hydrogel films with appropriate properties for dermatological applications is the photoinitiator concentration, as it controls the degree of crosslinking of the hydrogel and thus its mechanical properties.

This talk focuses on the impact of PETRA in affecting the material properties (i.e. swelling, rheological, and mechanical properties) of unmedicated PEO hydrogel films fabricated for topical and transdermal drug delivery. Next step is the preparation and characterisation of medicated PEO hydrogel films.

 

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