SPIRITUS: (07) A Monthly update from the Respiratory Technology team at the WIMR

In our July newsletter we say goodbye to a few members of our team and welcome new members, as well as update you on our travels and research successes.

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This month has seen members of the group travelling up to Brisbane for the 6th Australian & New Zealand Controlled Release Society Chapter Workshop. These workshops give postgraduate students and industry participants the opportunity to learn about nano and micro-particulate drug delivery systems that they can then apply to their own research and development programs. The official research conference of the Aus-Chapter of the CRS, DDA2013, will occur in October at the WIMR in Sydney. Registration and contributed paper submissions are being accepted at the following link: www.crsaustralia.org

The group has published two papers this month. Firstly, an article is to be published in the Colloids and Surfaces B, with collaborator Santo Scalia from Ferrara University, Italy. The article is focused on controlled release drug delivery systems for the lower airways and their affect on alveolar cells. Secondly, a ground-breaking paper has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Aerosol Medicine. This paper introduces a new dry powder inhalation device 'the Orbital'. This passive device is capable of delivering high doses (ca. 400 mg) of mucolytic and/or antibiotic therapies over multiple breaths, circumventing lengthy treatment times or the requirement for multiple capsule and device handling. This later work was supported via an industry-academia ARC linkage program with Pharmaxis Ltd. More information will follow as soon as the article is published online.

Lastly, we say farewell to old members and welcome new. Firstly, Giulia and Alessandro left us to return to Italy. Both have been immensely productive during their stay with us and we wish them well; we also hope to see them back in the near future to undertake PhD programs. Secondly, our postdoctorate research assistant, Ketan Sharma, has also left us. Ketan is returning to his home country and will continue to pursue a career in aerosol research. We thank Ketan for his support to the RespiTech group, particularly in the early stages of setting up the new facility at WIMR. Finally, we would like to welcome Wilco van den Oetelaar and Wing-Hin Lee. Wilco is a visiting student from the Netherlands and will spend the next 9-months working on developing novel systemic inhalation drug delivery technology, while Wing-Hin will commence a postdoctorate position within the group and will be involved in a multitude of cell and non-cell based respiratory drug delivery projects.