Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

PhD: Dr Zeibun Ramtoola - Development of targeted nanomedicines in the treatment of IBD

This project aims to investigate the potential therapeutic effectiveness of oral nanomedicines currently under development in RCSI.

Project title

Development of Targeted Nanomedicines in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Project description

IBD is a group of disorders which includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). It is a chronic debilitating disease that involves inflammation of the small and large intestine in the gastrointestinal tract causing abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bleeding, and tissue damage with significant affects on quality of life. Disease progression results in significant tissue damage leading ultimately to surgery in ~75% of patients.

Current commercially available treatments comprise of small molecule therapeutics for oral or rectal administration and more recently anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) administered parenterally. Literature reports the superiority of mAb treatment over conventional treatment as it promotes mucosal healing and prevents disease progression and surgery [1]. However, due to their systemic administration and doses, mAbs are associated with serious side effects such as leucopenia, serious infection and increased risk of malignancy. Unfortunately some cohorts of patients do not respond to infused mAbs. There is therefore a need to develop novel effective therapies, particularly ones which can target the site of inflammation and tissue damage in an oral form,[2].

This project aims to investigate the potential therapeutic effectiveness of oral nanomedicines currently under development in RCSI by examining their interaction and mucosal healing effects on intestinal inflammation and damage in a 3D model of IBD.

This is a translational research project which will involve non-clinical and clinical collaborators.

  • Research theme: Infection and immunity, bioengineering, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry
  • Keyword: inflammatory bowel disease, nanomedicine, biological therapies.

Mentors Dr Zeibun Ramtoola