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Eradicating superbugs by inhaled bacteriophages and nanomedicines


The aim of the project is to develop and evaluate novel anti-tuberculosis nanoparticle formulations for direct pulmonary drug delivery. Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious health problem for the global population. This infectious disease is caused by various strains of mycobacteria. TB is widely spread that one third of the world's population is infected with M. tuberculosis. In 2007, the estimation of chronic active cases globally was 13.7 million, while in 2010, 8.8 million new cases and 1.5 million associated deaths occurred, mostly in developing countries1. The traditional treatments may consist of several different high-dose antibiotics and generally take as long as several months, with strong side effects such as liver toxicity2. There is no efficient therapy available for multi-drug resistance TB because the structure and chemical composition of the mycobacterial cell wall prevents the penetration of the drug into the bacteria3.


Professor Kim Chan.

Research location

Sydney Pharmacy School

Program type



Recent studies suggested nanoparticles of anti-TB drugs with specific polymer materials can enhance the drug penetration to the bacteria, therefore, better therapeutic efficacy and reduced adverse effects 4. In this study, dry powder formulations containing nanoparticles of anti-TB drugs will be developed with the selected polymers. The physical properties of the generated nanoparticles can be determined using advanced characterisation approaches. Both in vitro formulation performance and in vivo biological effects will be assessed and optimised. The completion of this project may lead to more efficacious novel therapy for TB patients.

Additional information

1. Global tuberculosis control: epidemiology, strategy, financing. World Health Organization (2009), pp. 6-33.
2. Aristoff Paul A., Garcia George A., Kirchhoff Paul D., et al. (2010) Rifamycins - Obstacles and opportunities. Tuberculosis. 90:94-118.
3. Brennan PJ, Nikaido H (1995). The envelope of mycobacteria. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 64: 29-63.
4. Misra Amit., Hickey Anthony J., Rossi Carlo et al. (2011) Inhaled drug therapy for treatment of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis. 91:71-81.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1765

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