Smart Delivery System for Polyphenols

The primary objective of this research project is to develop a thermosensitive and pH-sensitive hydrogel which will serve as a sophisticated delivery system for bioactive nutrients, with a particular focus on polyphenols. Polyphenols are renowned for their diverse health applications, including their potential in cancer treatment, blood pressure management, and alleviating menopause symptoms.

Within the initial phase, the aim is to design an optimal hydrogel formulation which will possess unique properties enabling it to effectively transport polyphenols through the digestive tract. Once the hydrogel is shown to be successful at ensuring safe arrival at the targeted site without degradation or loss of efficacy, it will be followed by the insertion of the polyphenol molecules within the hydrogel matrix. Effectiveness of this hydrogel model will be thoroughly tested in relation to safeguarding the polyphenol compounds and successfully delivering them to the colon, where their therapeutic potential can be fully realized.

In addition to the primary focus on polyphenols, the research will encompass dissolution studies involving a diverse range of nutrient/drug combinations. These investigations will provide valuable insights into the hydrogel’s performance in delivering various bioactive compounds effectively. To ensure the safety and viability of the developed system, preliminary toxicological studies will also be conducted. These studies will involve assessing the cytotoxicity and cell morphology associated with the hydrogel and polyphenol delivery. By examining these factors, the aim is to validate the biocompatibility of the delivery system and pave the way for future development and potential applications. Through comprehensive research, we strive to contribute to the advancement of drug delivery systems and foster a deeper understanding of the potential health benefits offered by polyphenols, which represents a significant step towards translating scientific knowledge into tangible solutions that can positively impact healthcare and improve the well-being of individuals.

PHD Student

Iga Peterson

 Iga Peterson is a TUS graduate currently in 2nd year of her cross-disciplinary PhD programme. She has a deep interest in laboratory work, biochemistry and improving patient treatments and wellbeing. Alongside this, she is a proud member of the Nutrition Society, which focuses on research surrounding health and nutrition applications.