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the Department Dermatopharmalogy in the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie e.V. (Society
for Dermopharmacy), reporting period June 1999 to May 2000
Third International Intensive Course and Workshop on Cell Culture and Other Alternative Methods for Drug Delivery Research
Department of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Saarland University, Saarbrücken/Germany , 23rd February till 3rd March 2000.
For the third time this international 10-days course was held at Saarland University, organized by Prof. Dr. Claus-Michael Lehr and Dr. Ulrich Schäfer. It was financially supported by the EU-program SOCRATES (former IC 9-71 ERASMUS) as a part of the European Network GALENOS’ ongoing European Masters Program for Advanced Drug Delivery Research. APV (international Association for Pharmaceutical Technology), CRS (Controlled Release Society, Germany local chapter), DPhG (German Pharmaceutical Society), the German Society for Dermopharmacy (GD) and EUFEPS (European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences) acted as sponsors. The workshop featured presentations and discussions together with a practical lab courses and a poster session. The course was attended by 44 speakers and more than 100 participants for the largest part from Europe, but also from overseas (USA, Middle East and Asia).
Major aim of the course was to create a platform
for both the scientific discussion between experts, as well as to provide relevant
basic information for graduate students and novices to this field, either working
in academia or in the pharmaceutical industry. Hence, it was structured to bring
together post graduate students, academics, industrialists as well as regulators.
The program of the workshop was basically structured into two major sections; the first two days (24th. and 25th. February) dealt with the skin as a biological barrier and it began with lectures from Prof. Richard Guy (CH-Geneva), on the fundamentals of this barrier, and on electro-assisted delivery systems presented by Prof. Veronique Preat ( B-Brussels). The different in vitro test models (cow udder, excised human skin and egg chorioallantois membrane) were firstly approached in the second session(Prof. Kiezmann D-Hannover; H. Wagner, D-Saarbrücken; Dr. Kunzi-Rapp, D-Ulm) followed by test models based on reconstructed skin (Prof. M Fartasch, D. Erlangen), Phototoxicity (Dr. M Liebsch, ZEBET, D-Berlin) and skin corrosivity issues (Dr. C. Wiemann, D-Ludwigshafen). In another separate session, in vivo test methods, including pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic assessments, microdialysis together with some regulatory aspects were addressed by Dr P. Loos (D-Frankfurt), Dr. B Gabard (CH-Egerkingen), Prof. M. Fartasch ( D-Erlangen), Dr. C. Leopold (D-Düsseldorf) and Dr. S. Reiter (BfArM, D- Berlin).
The seminars of this first part were followed by a laboratory course with practical demonstrations covering the following topics: 1) Franz diffusion cell, 2) Saarbruecken skin penetration model, 3) Drug liberation from ointments in vitro, and 4) Confocal laser scanning microscopy as a functional imaging tool for the evaluation of drug penetration. The participants were divided into four groups each with a maximum number of 10 and they had the opportunity to see the preparation of excised human skin for drug penetration studies as well as its introduction into the different test permeation models, sampling, and basic data analysis. The practical part was supervised by Dr. U. F. Schaefer (Saarland University), Dr. C. Leopold (Heinrich Heine University/ Duesseldorf) as well as the Ph.D. students in the department.
Mucosal and other barriers
The second part of the course
(28th. Feb.-3rd. March) was dedicated to the different mucosal barriers for drug
delivery and was divided into six subsections.
In another session, the emphasis was moved to nasal and pulmonary drug delivery, and a profound description of the available and newly characterized in vitro test models such as those for nasal drug absorption, upper and lower airway epithelium together with some drug delivery applications (Prof. H.P. Merkle, Ch-Zurich; Dr. G. Borchardt, NL-Leiden; Dr. M. Gumbelton,UK-Cardiff, Dr. D. Edwards, USA-Cambridge) . The blood brain barrier issue was touched through two lectures (Prof. H. Galla, D-Münster; Prof. G. Fricker, D-Heidelberg) dealing with in vitro cell culture models and enhancement of the transport of drugs through this barrier.
Computational methods for the estimating rate and extent of absorption, transmembrane modeling, epithelial permeability as well as molecular simulation for drug delivery were approached in a separate session by Prof.M. Bolger, USA-Los Angeles; Prof. I. Harworth, USA-Los Angeles; Dr. K Palm, S-Göteborg; Dr. M. Story, Australia; and Dr. A. Bick, UK.
The closing session was dedicated to visualization and analytical tools, including fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (Dr. H. Häberlein,D-Marburg), modern scanning probe techniques (Prof. U. Hartmann, D-Saarbrücken), scanning force microscopy (Dr. U. Bakowsky, NL-Groningen) cryo-electron microscopy (Dr. R. Wepf, D-Hamburg) and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy (Dr. Struss, D-Frankfurt).
Very much as the first section, the second one was followed by a practical course, in which the participants came into closer contact with live tissue culture systems and had the opportunity to do some classical cell binding assays, transport experiments, ion transport and bioelectrical characterization of epithelial cells and a demonstration for the use of atomic force microscopy as a visualization technique for drug receptor interaction. The studies were mostly carried out Caco-2 cells. The second Lab-course was supervised by Prof. J. J. Tukker (Utrecht), Prof. M. Wirth (Vienna), Prof. K. J. Kim (Los Angeles-USA) and Prof. U. Hartmann (Saarland University) together with the assistance of post graduate students of the Department of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology of Saarland University.
Poster session and Social Program
Over 30 poster presentations were displayed throughout the entire workshop and Saturday (26th February) was assigned as “Students day“, in which students had the opportunity to hold a short communication about their posters and present it to the others. The session provided an excellent forum where the students and established researchers could exchange ideas and opinions.
The social program of the course was an opportunity for the participants to experience and enjoy the German hospitality and to see some touristic attractions of the Saarland. On Sunday, all participants were invited to a day trip to the Saarschleife and to visit the Old Steelworks in Völklingen, an impressive heritage of a former industrial era, which nowadays enjoys the status of a World Cultural Monument by UNESCO. The President of Saarland University arranged for a reception party, and the Minister of Science and Culture personally welcomed the participants from all over the world and emphasized his readiness to support such gatherings again in the future. The congress dinner was served in a pleasant atmosphere and provided the participants with a good opportunity for personal contacts.
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