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The work will be performed in the Drug Delivery and Disposition research group (Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences; KU Leuven) under the direct supervision of Prof. G. Van den Mooter (http://www.kuleuven.be/wieiswie/nl/person/00006817).

KU Leuven is one of the top 50 universities in the world according to the "Times Higher Education" ranking, and declared #1 in Most Innovative University of Europe by Reuters 4 years in a row. KU Leuven offers an exciting multi-disciplinary research environment, a broad range of training courses for PhD students, and full social and medical insurance.

Website unit https://gbiomed.kuleuven.be/en...


During the past 20 years, a considerable amount ofwork has been carried out in order to design delivery systems for targeting drugs specifically to the colon (large intestine). Despite this, reliable systems that deliver drugs reproducibly to specific sites in the large intestine are scarce. The large inter- and intra-subject variation in GI pH makes the approach of delivery systems based on pH-dependent polymers less suitable, and despite the fairly constant small intestinal transit time, the possible ‘hold-up’ time at the ileocecal valve is a serious drawback in the use of delivery systems that release drugs after a predetermined lag time. Undoubtedly, the preferred systems are those that rely on conditions that are only encountered in the colon, as these systems will give true site-specific delivery. In this respect, systems that can be degraded by colonic bacteria are very attractive and promising. Delivery systems based on natural polymers, such as polysaccharides are favorable with respect to safety, but their inherent water solubility is disadvantageous. Therefore, in this project, the candidate will design compatible polymer blends of various biodegradable polymers (e.g. polysaccharides) with non-degradable polymers, capable of film formation, and study the relationship between the microstructure of the polymer film and its capacity to be attacked and degraded by colonic bacterial enzymes. In a second step, selected biodegradable polymer blends will be formulated as biodegradable coatings to deliver model drugs specifically to the colon. The site specific drug release will be studied during in vitro and in vivo tests.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Guy Van den Mooter, tel.: +32 16 33 03 04, mail: guy.vandenmooter@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than July 01, 2022 via the online application tool


KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.




Apply before: 01/07/2022
  • Profile: Master degree in pharmaceutical sciences or physical chemistry
  • Research experience: Master thesis work and/or experience in formulation and drug delivery projects, physico-chemical characterization (thermal analysis, IR, NMR,…), etc.
  • Communication skills: Ability to work both independently and in a team, direct communication style. Fluency in spoken and written English is mandatory!

The project is funded by a European Union H2020-MSCA-ITN grant. It covers competitive salary, lab and conference expenses towards the completion of a PhD degree at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of KU Leuven. We offer a fulltime PhD position for 2 years, extendable to 4 years after initial positive evaluation.


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