Wednesday, 14 March 2012 09:54

Impressions from the Conference and Workshop Biological Barriers Featured

The workshop and congress Biological Barriers on 29th February to 9th March 2012 at Saarland University was held under the titel „Biological Barriers – in vitro and in silico Tools for Drug Delivery and Nanosafety Research“ for the ninth time.

Hosts were the Saarland University together with the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), which belongs to the Helmholtz-Institute for Infection Research in Braunschweig. Once developed as a training for young scientists, the conference has become an important international forum for the research of drug transport (drug delivery) through natural barriers.

The current knowledge gained in the field of drug transports through the intestinal tract, lung tissue or skin were discussed. InVitroJobs used the oppurtunity to present a poster in order  to inform the visitors about the possibilities to present their working groups  on the platform and to post their job vacancies.

Dr. Brigitta Loretz from the Department of Drug Delivery of the Helmholtz Center of Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (right hand) and Christiane Hohensee.

About 50 "invited speakers" (guest speakers) were invited. * The international group of participants presented for instance their latest imaging methods and findings related to the production and penetration of nanoparticles through barriers into target organs or the actual achievements in cancer therapy methods. Young scientists were able to give an insight to their findings via oral or poster presentations. The congress was accompanied by two laboratory courses. In these the participants were able to exercise preparation techniques for in vitro skin penetration arrangements, advanced microscopy and tomographic methods, as well as preparation, characterization and detection of nanoparticles and the principle of in vitro transport studies within cell culture systems.

For instance quasi-vivo systems (development from Kirkstall) were presented in which cell cultures are interconnected by a plastic vascular system to simulate the interactions between cells and to mimic the toxic effects of captured particles. Cells which play an important role in metabolism such as endothelial cells and hepatocytes (liver cells) were grown in this model. Such kind of models are being developed in collaboration between the University of Pisa and the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland. The research group led by Prof. Arti Ahluwalia from the Interdepartmental Research Center "E. Piaggio ", University of Pisa, has already been presented in the InVitroJobs list of research groups.

Another example is a human ex vivo and in vitro model of asthma which has been developed at the University of Southhampton, Faculty of Medicine by Prof. Donna Davies. It allows the study of inflammatory mechanisms and the influence of genetic and environmental influences in respiration tissue reproduced in culture.

A research group led by Prof. Eva Roblegg from the Graz Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University, is studying the  transport  of nanoparticles through the human oral mucosa. The researchers showed that especially the human cell line TR 146 is suitable for use in an in vitro-model.

* The participants came from Europe (Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland), Israel, the United States and Australia.