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

The main aim of this project is to research, design and develop a ‘smart’ drug and nutrient delivery system that has the potential to improve the therapeutic benefits for patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Additionally, the dietary beliefs, practices and behaviours of adults with IBD in Ireland have been investigated to better understand the food related behaviours and patient perceptions of IBD. IBD is a chronic disease with no cure and while there are a range of treatment and management options, they often result in unpleasant side effects which can impact in health and lead to non-adherance among patients and for some the treatments do not work. This research has the potential to improve the therapeutic efficacy, reduce drug side effects and deliver a unique approach to the management of IBD. A cross sectional survey study involving 475 adults with IBD has highlighted that diet plays an important role for many adults with IBD in Ireland. Many adults restrict or modify their diet in the hope of preventing a relapse of their IBD and for many their IBD has negatively affected their appetite and pleasure in eating. The findings reiterate the importance of patient education and support. 

PHD Student

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.

Latest publications

Dietary practices, beliefs and behaviours of adults with inflammatory bowel disease: a cross sectional study.

Irish Journal of Medical Science, 2022.