Novel ‘Smart’ Drug and Nutrient Delivery Systems for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory (IBD) compromising Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are complex chronic inflammatory diseases that can affect the entire gastrointestinal tract. The current treatment options for IBD primarily include anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants and biologic agents, which can lead to non – adherence, an impact on health and for some people treatment is unsuccessful. Due to the lack of dietary recommendations for IBD patients, patients often turn to the internet in search for dietary guidance, which sometimes results in food restrictions, which can lead to further complications. Recent research has shown that novel drug delivery systems such as hydrogels have the potential to increase site specific targeting efficacy, therefore, reducing side effects and increasing therapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, they may have the potential to deliver micronutrients, some of which are often mal-absorbed due to the use of certain IBD drugs.  Therefore, the aim of the current study is to investigate the dietary practices, beliefs and behaviours of adults with IBD and to design and develop a drug delivery system that can target IBD.

Aoife Murtagh

Aoife graduated from AIT with a BSc in Nutrition and Health Science and is currently in the second year of her postgraduate research. Aoife has presented some of her initial findings and future plans at the AIT Postgraduate Research Seminar and hopes to present at the Nutrition Society ‘Nutrition Futures Live 2020’ online conference in September 2020.  Supervisors: Dr Patricia Heavey and Dr Clem Higginbotham.