When Aisha told me that she wanted to do a PhD I was pleased and reasonably confident she could succeed. She came with good academic record, hard working, intelligent, excellent communication skills and a sparkling personality. Her referees were highly complementary. Aisha was particularly interested in asthma which was a big focus of the Institute of Nanotechnology and Bioengineering. UCLAN with excellent facilities and an expert in Dr Abdelbary Elhissi. Everything seemed like a good match.
After an enthusiastic start Aisha announced that she was getting married and changed to part-time study. She married a charismatic, highly successful and ambitious doctor. My initial thoughts were PhD would play second fiddle to married life. After another brief period the plans changed to immigrating to canada and starting a family. For most people the PhD would be doomed and thrown out of the window. I was also sceptical about Aisha’s chances of completing the PhD. After all there no financial need now for Aisha to finish the PhD and find work.
Very quickly after marriage Zoya, a beautiful angel, arrived and became the major focus of their life. Contrary to my initial concerns about the PhD Zoya proved to be an inspiration for Aisha. She wanted to set a good example. Imran provided a solid platform and was a rock of support. With excellent time management and dedication Aisha read papers, did research and wrote, fitting the PhD into a hectic family schedule whilst also emigrating to Canada. Whilst writing up the second child was on the way and close to coming.
Within the 4 years, which is minimum for a part time PhD, Aisha completed her work, passed the viva and completed corrections.
How did Aisha fit all the activities into her schedule and what were keys to her success?
- Angelic inspiration and desire to set an example to someone dearest to her.
- Rock solid support from husband Imran.
- Passionate enthusiasm and efficient time management.
- Resources and tools at the fingertip. Database, computers, supervisors accessible and feedback.
- Strong desire to be called Dr Ghauri
- Obvious ability and intelligence coupled with hard work.
Here is the poem Aisha wrote about Zoya.
“Most precious Zoya
You’re the greatest gift I could ever receive
Your beautiful smile makes me believe
You are my motivation to achieve.
You’ve brought me such joy and happiness
I will always love and cherish you
My very best I will always give you”
The abstract is given below.
COCHLEATE NANOPARTICLES FOR DELIVERY OF THE ANTI ASTHMA DRUG BECLOMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE
by Aisha Ghauri
Cochleates are an exciting new class of nanocarriers derived from multilamellar liposomes. They have a “cigerette like” structure in which the phospholipid bilayers are joined together by calcium ion bridges making them more stable than liposomes and thus less prone to degredation. Cochleates offer potential for use in drug delivery. They have never been used previously for pulmonary drug delivery and formed the basis of this study with the aim of delivering beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) to the lungs for the treatment of asthma.
Cochleates have been synthesised and characterised using a variety of techniques. Their particle size, structure, zeta potential and aerosol droplet size have been investigated. The aerosol droplet sizes during nebulisation and the delivery to the various regions of the pulmonary system were studied. TEM analysis confirmed cochleates structures to be “cigerette like”. Sonication was used to control the size of liposomes and cochleates which decreased dramatically from microns to the nanometer range within 6.5min. Zeta potential of cochleates was found to -60mV to compared with -4mV and -70mV for SPC and SPS liposomes respectively and decreased slightly after nebulisation. The aerosol output was compared and SPC liposomes tended to aggregate resulting in much larger droplet size than SPS liposomes and cochleates. Hence, a greater fraction of BDP entrapped in the cochleates and SPS lipsomes reached the alveolar region compared to SPC liposomes with values of 5%, 12% and 3% respectively.
An important parameter in any drug delivery system is the entrapment efficiency of the drug in the nanocarrier used. The entrapment efficiency of BDP in cochleates and liposomes was measured and compared. As the particle size increased the entrapment efficiency also increased. BDP is a lipophilic anti asthma drug which is expected to be entrapped in the phospholipid bilayer. A mathetical relationship was developed between the entrapment volume in the bilayer and entrapment efficiency for liposomes. A good fit between theory and experiment was obtained for liposomes. This work can be extended to liposomes and cochleates with multiple bilayers and for the delivery of other anti asthma drugs.