An experimental and theoretical insight into the interaction between nanoparticles and mucosal tissues

events hall

Mrs. Roni Sverdlov Arzi PhD candidate


David Wang Auditorium, 3rd floor Dalia Meidan Bldg.


Mucosal tissues such as the intestine display a protective layer called mucus, a highly hydrated, viscoelastic, 3D network of randomly entangled mucins. Mucins are a heterogeneous group of glycoproteins that display a bottle brush-like structure. Mucosae represent one of the most important biological barriers for drug delivery.

Among existing strategies to overcome various bottlenecks associated with drug administration, drug nanonization has shown great potential in improving the oral bioavailability of drugs by enhancing their dissolution rate and saturation solubility. Moreover, the adhesiveness of nanoparticles to mucus increases substantially and may account for a physical entrapment mechanism, which prolongs the drug half-life with respect to its raw form. However, the effect of particle key properties on its interaction with mucin has never been thoroughly investigated before, which limits our understanding of the phenomena.

In this project, we synthesized crosslinked mucin hydrogels of different rheological properties and produced pure drug nanoparticles to investigate the effect of particle size, shape, concentration, and the hydrogel crosslinking density, on the interaction with mucin. The experimental work was complemented by the derivation of statistical-mechanics-based models, and by the in-depth study of diffusion-derived particle penetration into hydrogels. Finally, experimental results were correlated with the theoretical work. The insights of this project will pave the way for the prediction of interactions between nanoparticles and biological gels.


Roni obtained a double degree in Materials Engineering and Chemistry at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Technion. In addition, between 2013-2016, she worked as a R&D assistant in the product research unit (PRU) at Teva. After obtaining the M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Alejandro Sosnik, she was formally accepted to the Ph.D. program under the supervision of Prof. Alejandro Sosnik and co-supervision of Asst. Prof. Noy Cohen.

In her Ph.D. research Roni has investigated and developed experimental and theoretical tools to understand and predict the mechanisms behind the interaction of nanomaterials with mucosal tissues.

Supervisor: Prof. Alejandro Sosnik
Co-supervisor – Asst. Prof. Noy Cohen