UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Case Studies

Elisabeth Kastner

Elisabeth started her CDT project in September 2012 at Aston on the formulation design and manufacture of novel vaccine adjuvants, supervised by Professor Yvonne Perrie. The focus of the project was on the development of microsomes for delivery of vaccines particularly tubercolosis.

Having studied here for her MSc, Elisabeth already enjoyed good links to the biochemical engineering department at UCL. The potential to use microfluidics for microsome manufacture was recognised early in the project, during the 2012 Centre Research Day, and she subsequently spent time in the lab of Professor Nicolas Szita at UCL to investigate various microfluidic processes. Nicolas Szita was coopted as the second supervisor on this CDT project as a result, and Elisabeth was a visiting researcher in Nicolas Szita’s laboratory while mainly based at Aston.

As part of the CDT project Elisabeth has demonstrated the proof of concept of using continuous manufacturing with a microfluidic mixer system for manufacture and purification of nanoparticles. The initial scale has been verified and has high industrial applicability. Elisabeth spent one month working at Precision NanoSystems Inc. in Vancouver, Canada. The company works on the manufacture of novel nanoparticles (nanomedicines), which are used for cell-specific delivery and targeting to treat diseases. The work at Precision NanoSystems comprised testing the developed microfluidic-devices used for a rapid and controlled assembly of nanoparticles. The technology was evaluated in a scale-up platform based on microfluidic reactor parallelization in a continuous-flow system. The evaluation of these liposomal systems for tuberculosis vaccines is being carried out by Aston University in conjunction with SSI in Denmark and this work is ongoing.

The collaboration between UCL and Aston has grown stronger and a second CDT project will start in September 2015, again under the supervision of Yvonne Perrie and Nicolas Szita.

Elisabeth received her PhD from Aston in 2015 and is now Senior Scientist at Coriolis Pharma in Martinried, Germany.