Inaugural lecture: Crystals, particles & powders

Professor Rob Price will be delivering his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 18 May on his research in the field of aerosol science.

Professor Price’s research investigates how the properties of sub-microscopic materials influence the how the medicine in inhaled drugs is delivered.

There are numerous difficulties associated with local drug delivery to the lungs. Professor Robert Price explains: “Unlike the gastrointestinal tract, our airways have evolved to exclude foreign materials.

“However, there is a narrow window of opportunity to deliver particles through the airways in the aerodynamic size range of 0.5 - 7micrometres (μm).

“This window arose as our airways were not naturally exposed to these particles due to their energetic properties and their preference to agglomerate and adhere to other surfaces.”

A large amount of Professor Price’s research work is inspired by nature and its materials. He said: “Many of the problems faced at the sub-microscopic level have been ironed out by material design through evolution.”

Exploiting nature with a little ingenuity and some modifications has led to the successful industrialisation of a “bottom-up” particle engineering process for the manufacturing of respirable particles, overcoming the limitations of traditional “top-down” processes.

In his inaugural lecture, Professor Price will explain how the interaction of materials at the sub-microscopic level is not dominated by the same physical forces which govern the behaviour of macroscopic objects.

He will also show how these forces and their influence on particle interactions govern the aerosol delivery and therapeutic efficacy of inhaled drug products.

Professor Robert Price has been an academic in the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology since 2000. Before taking the position, he was a postdoctoral associate at Cardiff University, Southampton University and the University of Bath.

He and his research group are involved in a diverse range of projects with pharmaceutical research and development companies, excipient companies and US government agencies.

The lecture will take place at 6.15pm in 3WN2.1. Free tickets are available from or 01225 383647.

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