Aarhus Universitets segl

Sif Julie Friis

Cand.polyt., Ph.d.-studerende

Sif Julie Friis


Project title: Towards in-silico modelling of oral device concepts: novel methods for mechanical characterization of gastrointestinal tissue

Project collaboration: Novo Nordisk A/S (Device & Delivery Solutions, Alternative Delivery Technologies) and Aarhus University (Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Biomechanics & Mechanobiology)

Project description: Delivery by oral administration is considered the simplest way to deliver most pharmaceuticals, significantly improving treatment adherence. However, macromolecular drugs cannot survive passage through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or have limited bioavailability. Oral devices designed to deliver drugs by injection into GI tissues may constitute an interesting solution to this limitation and as an alternative to subcutaneous injection. Conversely, a knowledge gap exists on how these devices will and should interact mechanically with the GI tissue, and there is a lack of understanding of the cellular consequences.

The aim of this PhD project is to answer these questions. It is hypothesized that a reliable virtual model of the mechanics of GI tissues can be built, provided that new test methods are developed to generate mechanical data needed to fit the parameters of the constitutive models. By performing biomechanical tests on GI tissue, necessary information on needle-tissue interaction is established. From the data, constitutive relations describing the tissue behavior under needle penetration in the GI tissue is identified, thereby relating the device design to penetration depth. Further, the experimental data and the virtual model, provide knowledge on the GI tissue strain field, caused by needle penetration and accompanying fractures. From this, it is possible to predict the potential cellular consequences of the mechanical stimuli inflicted by needle penetration. The research towards virtual models is of substantial value in the early screening of device concepts and the parameter evaluation, which may help to move forward with fewer prototype iterations and in-vivo experiments.

Academia Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Jens Vinge Nygaard

Company Supervisor: Senior R&D Engineer, PhD Mette Poulsen and Principal Scientist Torben Strøm Hansen

External Supervisor: M.D., Dr.M.Sci., M.P.M., AGAF, Professor, Director Hans Gregersen

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