MPhil/PhD Studentship Conformations and Interactions of Controlled Release Polymers in Solution

Chatham, Kent

(Ref: PGRO-SOS-01-13)

Multi-particulates are solid oral dosage forms consisting of a multiplicity of small discrete units (pellets) that are typically encapsulated to give the final product with desired dose. Pellets can be tailored for pulsatile, controlled, delayed and targeted drug release depending upon the polymer(s) employed during manufacture. An intimate understanding of the properties of the controlled release (CR) film formation is critical to ensure consistent performance (e.g. drug release & stability) of the product as the project progresses from pilot scale through to successful product launch.

A modified release film coat contains three main components: film former, permeability enhancer and plasticizer. The most common film former is ethylcellulose (EC). Various permeability enhancers have been used, of which hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) is the most common. Differences in film preparation, such as the solvent system used, impact on the level of dispersion of the two components, the resultant film properties and hence properties such as drug release rate, mechanical integrity etc. Therefore, understanding the relative strengths of the polymer-polymer, polymer-solvent and polymer-drug interaction in these complex blends is critical. This project will quantify these interactions using spectroscopic methods such as NMR & neutron scattering (SANS). 

You will be joining a dynamic group that has wide-ranging interests spanning drug delivery to motor engine products. The group uses a range of powerful experimental methodology to characterise these systems, in particular small-angle neutron scattering (ISIS, Oxfordshire, UK & ILL, Grenoble, France) and NMR, as well as more routine techniques such as rheology, surface tension etc.

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The successful candidate will receive a £13,762 bursary (years 2 and 3 linked to RCUK Doctoral Stipend rate) plus a contribution towards tuition fees of up to the equivalent of the Home fee (currently £3900 pa), subject to performance. International students will be required to make up the difference in fees to £10,950.

Applicants must hold a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (UK or UK equivalent) in a relevant discipline, e.g. formulation science as well as broader degrees that have covered this area, e.g. Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Science. Previous experience/knowledge of small angle neutron scattering, NMR and techniques such as rheology will be an advantage. 

For further information please contact the supervisor: Professor Peter Griffiths,, 0208 331 9927.

For additional information about the studentship and links to the application form please go to: 

The application form should be completed and returned to: and include: a comprehensive CV and a one page covering letter explaining your interest in the project and how it relates to past experience and present motivations. Attachments should be in PDF or Word format.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 2 August  2013

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