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Research Interests

Our research deals with materials and processes at colloidal (nanometer to micrometer) length scales. The focus is on synthesis and processing of particulate, colloidal and biomolecular systems.

Particle formation processes/pharmaceutical engineering

Numerous pharmaceutical particulates are formed through antisolvent driven processes, where two solutions are mixed in order to create a thermodynamic driving force for particle formation due to a limited solubility of one or more solutes in the resulting solvent mixture. Such processes are often mixing controlled and can lead to a wide range of intermediate and/or metastable liquid or solid phases. We study kinetics and mechanisms of these processes in order to design and novel continuous processes for manufacturing of nanostructured particles for various pharmaceutical applications. We also study subsequent downstream processes and their effects on resulting particulate products.

Protein Aggregation

Understanding, controlling and utilizing colloidal interactions of proteins is crucial for their downstream processing, including purification, sterilization and storage. Protein interactions with each other determine whether they stay stable in solution or whether they aggregate. Understanding and tuning of protein interactions is thus necessary for improvement of the lifetime stability of therapeutic proteins as well as for rational development of novel separation and sensing procedures for bioprocessing. In fact, there are numerous issues in biotechnology and biomedical engineering, where protein aggregation phenomena have been identified as key factors controlling our success in producing, sensing, handling, and applying biomaterials and therapeutics as desired. We study protein aggregation in solutions under non-equilibrium conditions. The proteins of interest include enzymes and therapeutic proteins in applications such as heat treatment or bioseparations. The modelling work is focused in detailed scattering and spectroscopic characterisation of aggregating protein systems as well as on development and validation of population balance models describing how the mass distribution, structure and activity of protein aggregates evolve in time.

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Projects 2004 2023

DTP 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Cashmore, Andrew

Sefcik, J., Haw, M. & Cashmore, A.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

1/10/181/10/21

Project: Research Studentship - Internally AllocatedResearch Studentship (Internally Allocated)

DTP 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Miller, Russell

Sefcik, J., Lue, L. & Miller, R.

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

1/10/181/10/21

Project: Research Studentship - Internally AllocatedResearch Studentship (Internally Allocated)

Research Output 1997 2019

Concentration and pH dependence of colloidal scale solute clustering within aqueous solutions of small organic molecules

Zimbitas, G., Forsyth, C. & Sefcik, J., 4 Sep 2018, p. 246 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Molecules
Liquids
Amino Acids
Scattering
Trientine
1 Citations

Crystal shape modification via cycles of growth and dissolution in a tubular crystallizer

Neugebauer, P., Cardona, J., Besenhard, M. O., Peter, A., Gruber-Woelfler, H., Tachtatzis, C., Cleary, A., Andonovic, I., Sefcik, J. & Khinast, J. G., 15 Jun 2018, In : Crystal Growth and Design. 18, 8, p. 4403–4415 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Crystallizers
dissolving
Dissolution
Crystals
cycles

Thesis

Batch to continuous organic salt crystallisation : model based design

Author: McGinty, J., 1 Jul 2017

Supervisor: Sefcik, J. (Supervisor) & Florence, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Computational modelling and design of bioinspired silica materials

Author: Centi, A., 1 Oct 2016

Supervisor: Jorge, M. (Supervisor) & Sefcik, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2005 2018

Multi-sensor Measurements For Quantitative Particle Size And Concentration Information in Crystal Slurries

Ferreira, C. S. (Speaker), Chen, Y. (Contributor), Sefcik, J. (Contributor)
24 Apr 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation