• Nanotechnologies for Drug, Gene and Protein Delivery

    UCLan laboratory

Therapeutic drugs, genes, peptides and other bioactive molecules can be delivered to target cells and organs for the treatments of diseases such as cancers, diabetes and asthma and for responding to specific biological stimuli. Pulmonary delivery of drug, gene and protein in nanocarrier systems is one of our major areas of interest, since the action of drug entrapped in nanocarriers may exhibit prolonged residence time in the lung after inhalation, potentially reducing systemic side effects. Currently, our institute is developing nanocarrier systems for nasal delivery aiming to treat local nasal diseases (e.g. Sinusitis) and systemic diseases (e.g. Diabetes, hormone deficiencies, etc.). Synthesis, properties, computer modelling and applications of a range of functionalised nanocarriers such as dendrimers, liposomes, carbon nanotubes, cochleates, and niosomes are being investigated particularly in the area of aerosol delivery. Moreover, development of methods to manufacturing nanocarriers on a large scale are currently under investigation using vesicular nanosystems by applying various methods of size reduction, freeze-drying and spray-drying.

Expertise and Subject Areas

  • Liposome delivery to the respiratory system - A significant volume of our research has focused on the development of nanosystems which are both stable and can be manufactured on a large scale.
  • Tat Protein Delivery – the protein transduction domain of the HIV-1 transativator of transcription (Tat 48-60), has been shown to transport P10,a cytotoxic peptide mimic of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1 into the nucleus of cancerous cells and induce opoptosis.
  • Functionalised Carbon Nanotubes for Drug Delivery - Single walled and multiwalled carbon nanotubes have attracted considerable interest for a wide range of applications in engineering, medicine, energy, construction and as components in composite materials for improving mechanical properties.
  • Proliposomes for Nasal Delivery – Nasal delivery is a useful delivery route in vaccination. The nose is the first point of contact with inhaled pathogens, rich in lymphoid tissue and has a relatively large surface area through which update of antigenic material can take place.
  • Dendrimers for Drug Delivery – Dendrimers are highly branched macromolecules that have a well-defined structure, allowing the precise control of size and shape, as well as terminal group functionality.


Recent Conference presentations:

  • Dr Abdelbary Elhissi: Proliposomes: A promising Formulation Approach of liposomes for the Treatment of Brain Tumour. BIT 6th Annual World Cancer Congress 2013, Sichuan University, China.
  • Dr Abdelbary Elhissi: Drug Delivery and Nanocarrier systems for treatment of asthma and cancer. Shenzhen Virtual University Park, November 2012.

Publications and Outputs



This is a selection of recent publications. Further information about group members publications can be accessed via the staff profiles in the members section, which link to the institutional repository.



  • A Elhissi, M Jain, W Ahmed, DA Phoenix, X Sun, Z Zhang: “Proliposomes: A promising Formulation Approach of Liposomes for the Treatment of Brain Tumour.” (abstract published in The 6th World Cancer Congress, Xi’an, China 23-25 May 2013.
  • M Ahmad, E Ahmed, ZL Hong, Z Iqbal, NR Khalid, T Abbas, I Ahmad, AM Elhissi, W Ahmed: “Structural, optical and photocatalytic properties of hafnium doped zinc oxide nanophotocatalyst.” Journal Article Ceramics International April 2013.
  • M Ahmad, E Ahmed, ZL Hong, JF Xu, NR Khalid, A Elhissi, W Ahmed: “A facile one-step approach to synthesizing ZnO/graphene composites for enhanced degradation of methylene blue under visible light.” Journal Article, Applied Surface Science, Volume 274, 1 June 2013 pages 273-281.
  • M Ahmad, Z Hong, E Ahmed, NR Khalid, A Elhissi, W Ahmed: “Effect of fuel to oxidant molar ratio on the photocatalytic activity of ZnO nanopowders.” Journal Article, Ceramics International, Volume 39 Issue 3 April 2013 pages 3007-3015.
  • Elhissi A, Hidayat K, Phoenix DA, Mwesigwa E, Crean S, Ahmed W, Faheem A, Taylor KM. Air-jet and vibrating-mesh nebulization of niosomes generated using a particulate-based proniosome technology. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 444, 193-199, 2013.

  • Elhissi A, Jama F, Ahmed W, Taylor K. Method of Producing nebuliser composition. Pub. No. WO/2013/005020, International Application No. PCT/GB2012/051543, Publication Date: 10.01.2013, International Filing Date: 02.07.2012.



Staff from across the University form the Institute, bringing together a wealth of experience. Staff with a particular interest in nanotechnologies for drug, gene and protein delivery are:

  • Professor Waqar Ahmed


Related Projects

Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery Mechanism – a project with Sichuan University, China.

Liposome Delivery to the Respiratory System

Tat Protein Delivery

Functionalised Carbon Nanotubes For Drug Delivery

Proliposomes for Nasal Delivery

Dendrimers for Drug Delivery