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Tiny Trojan Horses as Drug Carriers

At the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the pharmacists, engineers and biologists in the Division of Pharmaceutical Technology are passionate about developing innovative drug formulations. With particular dosage forms, medicines can be delivered to the body in an efficient and controlled fashion. Drugs can therefore be guided across cellular barriers and directed to diseased tissues or organs within the body.

Jörg Huwyler
Jörg Huwyler is interested in how drugs find their target inside the human body. © University of Basel

How drugs find their targets has always been of interest to Jörg Huwyler, head of the Division of Pharmaceutical Technology: «Our ambition is to understand how drugs are taken up by the human organism and how they are subsequently distributed within the body. Based on this knowledge, we can develop drug-targeting strategies.»

«We use, for example, nanosized particles, which are loaded with drugs and subsequently administered to the body. These particles act like tiny Trojan horses and will be taken up by specific cell populations within the body. At their site of action, the particles unload and deliver their cargo.»

Huwyler’s research has a strong translational aspect: As new materials and drug carriers are designed, their interaction with biological systems can be investigated to create better and safer drugs for humans. Basel – with its large pharmaceutical industry and flourishing research community – provides unique opportunities to develop cutting-edge pharmaceutical technologies and to make these available to patients.

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