Dr Alan Smith
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Dr Smith graduated from Salford University (Biochemical Science) in 1997 before gaining his PhD from Cranfield University developing polysaccharide substitutes for gelatin in the production of pharmaceutical capsules under the supervision of Prof. Ed Morris. Following his PhD Dr Smith worked for 2 years as a formulation scientist within the pharmaceutical industry before taking up a position as a polysaccharide chemist at Industrial Research Limited, Wellington, New Zealand. On his return to the UK Dr. Smith has worked as a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham (School of Dentistry) and Aston University (School of Pharmacy) developing 3D cell scaffolds and polysaccharide based drug delivery systems. In 2008 he joined the tissue regeneration and interface laboratory within Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham where he continued to develop his research on biopolymers for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications before being appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the University of Huddersfield in March 2011.
Research & Scholarship
Dr Smithss research focuses on pharmaceutical and medical applications of biopolymers. Biopolymers are a versatile class of materials which exhibit easily tailorable properties that are advantageous in developing bio-responsive drug delivery systems and functional cell culture substrates.
Cell Encapsulation and Delivery
Polysaccharides hydrogels provide an extremely mild and simple route to 3D cell immobilisation providing the cells with an environment that is similar to natural extracellular matrix. In collaboration with the University of Birmingham Dr Smith is developing these hydrogels to enable the culture of multiple cell types within a single 3D structure. He is also interested in how the mechanical properties of hydrogels change in physiological and cell culture conditions and how this impacts on the phenotype of encapsulated cells. In addition to this, he is also investigating how the extent of diffusion of molecules through different hydrogels effect tissue development.
The ability to retain a drug or cells at the site of action is an important consideration for many localised applications such as wound healing and ocular drug delivery. Biopolymers in particular, can interact with physiological secretions via physical interactions allowing sustained delivery of therapeutic molecules. Currently, Dr Smith is investigating how modification of various biopolymers can enhance bioadhesion and increase drug retention time.
Dosage form development
Within this research theme Dr Smith is interested in developing modified release formulations for oral delivery by utilizing the physiological responsive nature of biopolymers. In particular, developing novel enteric pharmaceutical capsules (Patent No. WO/2008/119943) and enteric oral liquid formulations.
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Smith, A., Fleming, L., Wudebwe, U., Bowen, J. and Grover, L. (2014) ‘Development of a synovial fluid analogue with bio-relevant rheology for wear testing of orthopaedic implants’ Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials . ISSN 17516161
Smith, A., Hunt, N., Shelton, R., Birdi, G. and Grover, L. (2012) ‘Alginate hydrogel has a negative impact on in vitro collagen 1 deposition by fibroblasts’ Biomacromolecules , 13 (2), pp. 4032-4038. ISSN 1525-7797
Jamshidi, P., Ma, P., Khosrowyar, K., Smith, A. and Grover, L. (2012) ‘Tailoring gel modulus using dispersed nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite’ Journal of Experimental Nanoscience , 7 (6), pp. 652-661. ISSN 17458080
Grover, L. and Smith, A. (2012) ‘Hydrocolloids and Medicinal Chemistry Applications. In Handbook of Biopolymers and Biodegradable Plastics’. In: Handbook of Biopolymers and Biodegradable Plastics. : Elsevier. pp. 365-384. ISBN 978-1-4557-2834-3
Birdi, G., Bridson, R., Smith, A., Bohari, S. and Grover, L. (2012) ‘Modification of alginate degradation properties using orthosilicic acid’ Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials , 6, pp. 181-187. ISSN 1751-6161
Smith, A (2011) ‘Degradation of polysaccharide hydrogels seeded with bone marrow stromal cells ’ Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials , 4 (7), pp. 1157-1166. ISSN 1751-6161
Buselli, E., Smith, A., Grover, L., Levi, A., Allman, R., Mattoli, V., Menciassi, A. and Beccai, L. (2011) ‘Development and characterization of a bio-hybrid skin-like stretchable electrode’ Microelectronic Engineering , 88 (8), pp. 1676-1680. ISSN 0167-9317
Smith, A. and Miri, T. (2011) ‘Alginates in Foods’. In: Practical food rheology: an interpretive approach. : Wiley. pp. 113-132. ISBN 9781444391060
Hunt, N., Smith, A., Gbureck, U., Shelton, R. and Grover, L. (2010) ‘Encapsulation of fibroblasts causes accelerated alginate hydrogel degradation’ Acta Biomaterialia , 6 (9), pp. 3649-3656. ISSN 1742-7061
Perrie, Y. and Smith, A.(2010) Enteric Pharmaceutical Capsules. US20100113620.
Mehrban, N., Hunt, N., Smith, A. and Grover, L. (2010) ‘A comparative study of iota carrageenan, kappa carrageenan and alginate hydrogels as tissue engineering scaffolds’. In: Gums and stabilisers for the food industry . : Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 407-413. ISBN 9781847558312
Smith, A., Jaime-Fonseca, M., Grover, L. and Bakalis, S. (2010) ‘Alginate-Loaded Liposomes Can Protect Encapsulated Alkaline Phosphatase Functionality When Exposed to Gastric pH’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry , 58 (8), pp. 4719-4724. ISSN 0021-8561
AlHusban, F., ElShaer, A., Kansara, J., Smith, A., Grover, L., Perrie, Y. and Mohammed, A. (2010) ‘Investigation of Formulation and Process of Lyophilised Orally Disintegrating Tablet (ODT) Using Novel Amino Acid Combination’ Pharmaceutics , 2 (1), pp. 1-17. ISSN 1999-4923
Smith, A., Ingham, A., Grover, L. and Perrie, Y. (2010) ‘Polymer film formulations for the preparation of enteric pharmaceutical capsules’ Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology , 62 (2), pp. 167-172. ISSN 0022-3573
Grover, L. and Smith, A. (2009) ‘Hydrocolloids and Medicinal Chemistry Applications’. In: Modern Biopolymer Science: Bridging the Divide between Fundamental Treatise and Industrial Application . : Elsevier. pp. 595-618. ISBN 9780123741950
Chandrasekhar, R., Hassan, Z., AlHusban, F., Smith, A. and Mohammed, A. (2009) ‘The role of formulation excipients in the development of lyophilised fast-disintegrating tablets’ European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics , 72 (1), pp. 119-129. ISSN 0939-6411
Clark, S., Cross, M., Aldwell, F., Chambers, M., Smith, A., Court, P., Vipond, J., Nadian, A., Hewison, R., Batchelor, H., Perrie, Y. and Williams, A. (2008) ‘Assessment of different formulations of oral Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine in rodent models for immunogenicity and protection against aerosol challenge with M. bovis’ Vaccine , 26 (46), pp. 5791-5797. ISSN 0264-410X
Harris, J., Smith, A., Campbell-Lynch, S. and Shelton, R. (2008) ‘Dramatic changes in bulk deformation behaviour of gellan gum on cross-linking with mixed cations’. In: Gums and Stabilisers for the Food Industry . : Royal Society of Chemistry. pp. 79-86. ISBN 9780854044610
Smith, A., Shelton, R., Perrie, Y. and Harris, J. (2007) ‘An Initial Evaluation of Gellan Gum as a Material for Tissue Engineering Applications’ Journal of Biomaterials Applications , 22 (3), pp. 241-254. ISSN 0885-3282
Agoub, A., Smith, A., Giannouli, P., Richardson, R. and Morris, E. (2007) ‘Melt-in-the-mouth gels from mixtures of xanthan and konjac glucomannan under acidic conditions: A rheological and calorimetric study of the mechanism of synergistic gelation’ Carbohydrate Polymers , 69 (4), pp. 713-724. ISSN 0144-8617
Smith, A., Harris, J., Shelton, R. and Perrie, Y. (2007) ‘3D culture of bone-derived cells immobilised in alginate following light-triggered gelation’ Journal of Controlled Release , 119 (1), pp. 94-101. ISSN 0168-3659
Research Degree Supervision
Opportunities for self funded PhD studies are available in the following research areas
- Injectable cell culture substrates for tissue regeneration
- Development of modified release oral liquid formulations for pediatrics
- Developing bioresponsive hydrogels for tissue engineering applications
Applications are welcome from potential students with an interest in formulation development or the physicochemical properties of macromolecules.
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