Transfer of Small Molecules Across Membrane-Mimetic Interfaces

  • Matej Velicky

Student thesis: Phd


The presented thesis investigates the transfer of drug molecules across interfaces that mimic biological membrane barriers. The permeability of drug molecules across biological membrane mimics has been investigated in a novel artificial membrane permeation assay configuration using an in situ time-dependent approach and reproducible rotation of the membrane. A method to determine the membrane permeability from the knowledge of measured permeability and the applied stirring rate is presented. The initial transient of the permeation response, previously not observed in situ, is investigated and its importance in data evaluation is discussed. The permeability coefficients of 31 drugs are optimised for the conditions found in vivo and a correlation with the fraction absorbed in humans is presented.The evidence for ionic and/or ion-pair flux across the artificial membrane obtained from measurement of permeability at different pH is supported by the investigation of the permeation assay with external membrane polarisation. The permeability coefficient of the soluteā€Ÿs anionic form is determined.Liquid/liquid electrochemistry has been used to study the transfer of ionized species across the interface between water and 1,2-dichloroethane. An alternative method to study the transfer of partially ionised drug molecules employing a rotating liquid/liquid interface is presented.In addition, a bipolar electrochemical cell with a rotating-disc electrode is developed and its properties investigated in order to verify the hydrodynamics of the rotating artificial membrane configuration.Finally, in support of the electrochemical techniques used is this thesis, a detailed preparation and evaluation of the silver/silver sulphate reference electrode is presented.
Date of Award31 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRobert Dryfe (Supervisor)


  • liquid/liquid electrochemistry
  • ion transfer
  • bipolar cell
  • reference electrode
  • ion-pairing
  • drug discovery
  • PVDF membrane
  • pH-partition hypothesis
  • supported liquid membrane
  • UV-Vis
  • Levich equation
  • controlled hydrodynamics
  • in situ permeation
  • bioavailability
  • drug absorption
  • membrane polarisation
  • membrane permeation
  • lag time

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