Dr. Sion Coulman
Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
Tel: +44 (0) 2920876418
Sion Coulman graduated with an MPharm in 2001 and subsequently qualified as a pharmacist. He then returned to academia to follow a career in research. He completed his PhD in 2005 and is now a Senior Lecturer in Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. In this time his research interests have revolved principally around innovative physical methods to enhance transdermal drug delivery. His focus is on the design and performance of microneedle devices in humans and the ability of these drug delivery systems to facilitate intradermal delivery of biologics such as high molecular weight proteins and nucleic acids. He is also interested in the formulation and performance of hard shell capsules in dry powder inhalers. His research is funded by a diversity of national and international funding bodies and commercial partners from the pharmaceutical industry.
About research group
My current research interest centres on the development of the microneedle device as an effective non-invasive method of trans/intra-dermal delivery of novel and existing medicines and the translation of the microneedle technology from a laboratory prototype to a clinically useful device. The microneedle device bridges engineering, pharmaceutics and healthcare disciplines and therefore I am part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes academic and non-academic colleagues from the UK, Europe and the USA. The technology is now approaching clinical usefulness and over the forthcoming years will hopefully facilitate non-invasive delivery of a number of therapeutics and hence offer a range of new therapeutic opportunities.
More recently I have also developed a pedagogic interest in calculations, with particular focus on the education of pharmacy students and pharmacists in this area.
Micro- and macro- needles in drug delivery
The advent of innovative intradermal delivery devices such as the microneedle device has made minimally invasive delivery of macromolecular drugs and vaccines a realistic ambition. This talk will provide an insight into some potential clinical applications of microneedle devices and the latest developments in the area, including the intradermal delivery of peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and nanoparticles into the skin using a variety of microneedle designs. Some of the technical challenges that have been encountered during development of the technology will be highlighted and there will be specific discussion of studies that have been conducted in Cardiff to evaluate successful translation of microneedles from the laboratory and into the clinical setting.
The talk will segue from micron-sized needles to the millimeter sized needles that are used in DPIs to puncture hard shell capsules, focusing specifically on the development of a methodology at Cardiff that has been used to evaluate capsule puncture performance in a DPI.
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