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Paid Master Thesis or Student Job - Developing a Novel Drug Delivery System for Special Patients

Background

The Institute of Process and Particle Engineering is a world leader in the development of pharmaceutical products and processes.

In this context, we are offering a paid master thesis where the student is employed at an external company.

The goal of the master thesis is to create the basis for product development, focusing on a novel drug delivery system where the medicine is contained in a flavored gel, either as solution, emulsion or suspension. Drug delivery occurs via breaking a seal of a snap-package and sucking out the flavored gel. Target patient populations includes:

  • Geriatric patients (frail & old patients)
  • Pediatric patients (kids)
  • Emergency applications

Tasks

  • Literature study on competitor products and patent situation
  • List of the 20-30 most important medicines for the three target populations and corresponding biopharmaceutical classification
  • Research on formulation strategies (solutions, emulsions, suspension) with sufficient stability
  • Selection of 3 model APIs (different categories) and formulation of the gels
  • Stability testing under stress conditions

Requirements

  • Background in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmaceutical engineering or medicines
  • Student in pharmacy, pharmaceutical engineering, chemical engineering or related

What we offer:

  • Integration in an internationally leading team
  • Opportunity to be part of a commercialization project
  • Paid thesis

Start: Spring 2021

Contact: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johannes Khinast, khinastnoSpam@tugraz.at


Bachelors’ or Masters’ Thesis – Design of (bio)catalytic processes in continuous flow

Background

Continuous flow synthesis has recently emerged as the new paradigm for the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Many benefits come with implementing continuous processes, such as increased throughput, constant product quality, the possibility of controlling and automating the process, increased safety and waste reduction. Continuous flow processes are also widely considered a valid platform where to implement and test new technologies that can change  the way fine chemicals are traditionally manufactured. Lately, there has been increasing interest in the application of biocatalysts as a tool for synthetic chemistry, since it is considered a very promising  and greener alternative to conventional catalysts, which are mostly metal-based. Enzymes have many advantages, such as low toxicity and environmental impact, high activity in mild conditions, and high selectivity. Therefore, the possibility of exploiting the advantages of continuous flow synthesis as well as biocatalysis is very attractive for both researchers and industry. However, still a lot of work needs to be done to increase the feasibility of biocatalysts and to design continuous flow biocatalytic processes that can be industrially competitive.


Figure 1 – Generic scheme of a multistep (bio)catalytic process

The aim of this project is to develop a process for multistep (bio)catalytic cascade reactions for the production of APIs in continuous flow. The process can be flexible and feature different modules: reaction modules that can host packed bed reactors filled with the immobilized enzymes or catalyst, as well as modules for other unit operations (e.g. heating/cooling, mixing, extraction). A great part of the work will be dedicated to identify an optimal immobilization strategy onto innovative supports (e.g. 3D printed, see Figure 2).  The possible challenges include: finding an optimum immobilization protocol that minimizes leaching and optimizes the stability of the enzymes; the choice of an optimal solvent compatible with multiple reaction steps; the possible interaction of by-products within the system. To increase process understanding and efficiency, the possibility of implementing process analytical tools, such as inline sensors for real-time analyses, will be explored as well.


Figure 2 -  CAD design of a honeycomb type of  support structure

Tasks

  • Literature study on industrial biocatalysis in continuous flow and enzyme immobilization
  • Study of the enzymatic reaction kinetics in batch
  • Design of an adequate continuous process
  • Optimization of the reaction/process conditions
  • Implementation of real-time analytics (e.g. UV-vis probes)

Requirements

  • Background in chemical engineering, chemistry or biotechnology
  • Interest in the above mentioned fields
  • Basic lab work experience

What we offer:

  • Integration in an internationally leading institute (IPPT) of TU Graz
  • Support from the CoSy Pro Team
  • Paid thesis (in case of the Masters’ thesis)

Start
At any time

Contact:
Dipl. Ing. Dott.ssa Alessia Valotta
valottanoSpam@tugraz.at - +43 316 873 - 30428

Assoc. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Heidrun Gruber-Wölfler
woelflernoSpam@tugraz.at


Paid Master Thesis or student job: Comparing Bioreactors with different scales and/or geometries

Background

The Institute of Process and Particle Engineering is a world leader in the development of simulation tools for industrial-scale bioprocessing units, funded by the Spin-Off Fellowship Program of the FFG. For example, our current code can model processes in large-scale bioreactors, up to 200m3 .
We are therefore offering a student job with the possibility to do a master thesis with the goal of creating a comparison algorithm for bioreactors. The objective is to find the influencing factors that determine the productivity difference between reactors. This should be done by comparing reactors of different scales and for reactors at the same scale but different geometry and should aid scale up or process transfer processes in the industry.

Tasks

  • Literature study on available influencing factors or comparison concepts for the production in bioreactors using cells or microorganisms
  • Propose an algorithm for the comparison of reactors
  • Do scale ups or process transfer virtually

Requirements

  • Background in biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular microbiology or similar
  • Being familiar with industrial production in bioreactors

What we offer:

  • Integration in an internationally leading team
  • Opportunity to be part of a commercialization project
  • Paid thesis

Start: Fall 2020

Contact
Dr. Christian Witz
0316 873 30416
christian.witznoSpam@tugraz.at


Development of UV-based Reactor to Inactive Virus-particles in Inside Air (Paid Master Thesis)

Background

The current COVID-19 crisis highlights the need to treat inside air, as inside-air viral transmission  is  considered  an  important  route  of  infection.  Interestingly,  UV-based irradiation of virus particles is known to inactivate the virus.  Thus, the goal of the thesis is to develop a low-cost UV-based air flow-through device (UV decontamination reactor) that can be integrated in typical air handling systems in restaurants, movie theatres, concert halls, trains, etc.

Tasks

  • Literature study on available UV-based de-contamination systems  
  • Understanding the requirement of a system in terms of integration in air-handling systems   
  • Basic design of the reactor chamber with respect to UV-exposure and residence time distribution using a simple (e.g., analytical or semi-analytical) model   
  • Air flow optimization via flow simulation (CFD)   
  • Building a prototype of the UV-based reactor   
  • Interaction with Universities that can study the impact of UV on viral inactivation

Requirements

  • Background in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering   
  • Basic computer knowledge   
  • CFD knowledge is an advantage   
  • Interest in developing a novel system

What we offer:

  • Integration in an internationally leading institute (IPPT) of TU Graz
  • Opportunity to be part of a commercialization project
  • Paid thesis

Start: Summer/Fall 2020

Contact

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stefan Radl
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johannes Khinast
(radlnoSpam@tugraz.at, khinastnoSpam@tugraz.at)


Continuous Cooling Crystallization

Background

For this construction thesis we are looking for a student to design a water bath made of stainless steel for continuous cooling crystallization in a tubular reactor (plug flow crystallizer).

Using such a tubular crystallizer the continuous cooling crystallization process should be carried out in two water baths of different temperature. Each water bath has separate glass inserts which enable the visual observation of the crystallization process within the tubes via a high speed camera. To achieve high resolution images a backlight source e.g. a LED panel in addition to the camera is necessary. Due to the reflection of the water inside the bath the distance between the backlight and the camera should be as short as possible. To keep the tube cycles uniformly immersed and to guide them special tube mountings are also required.

Tasks

  • To design a water bath of stainless steel with glass inserts for the image-based observation of a continuous cooling crystallization within a transparent tubular crystallizer.
  • To make a selection of necessary materials and equipment and process the orders
  • Image-based monitoring and observation of crystal segments via high speed camera and backlight
  • Doing some final experiments to demonstrate the applicability of the two water baths for visual investigations.


Requirements

  • Background in chemical / pharmaceutical engineering or chemistry
  • Basic experience in working with CAD drawing desirable
  • Basic experience in lab work

What we offer

  • Integration in an internationally leading team

Contact

Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Meister, BSc
Inffeldgasse 13 / III, 8010 Graz
alexander.meisternoSpam@tugraz.at



PAID MASTER’S THESIS: Influence of powder composition on macroscopic powder properties

To dedicated students who are interested in the pharmaceutical field (i.e. students of chemical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, biomedical engineering, pharmacy, or related disciplines), we offer an opportunity to write a paid Master’s thesis.

OBJECTIVE:
Powder processing steps, such as feeding and mixing, are critical in many industries, including the pharmaceutical industry. For example, within a continuous tablet manufacturing environment, powder feeding impacts functionality and quality of the final product. For the rational design of such operations the powder properties need to be known, including the particle size distribution, bulk (poured) and tapped density, flowability, compressibility, electrostatic chargeability and tendency to segregate.

Thus, the development of solid dosage forms and the associated manufacturing processes requires a good understanding of the relationship between powder composition and the properties of the powder.

WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THIS MASTER’S THESIS WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING:

  • Extensive participation in a top-level and industrially relevant research project in an international environment Supervised training in the task
  • Assistance of experienced staff with the implementation of innovative ideas
  • Access to highly modern infrastructure on campus of Graz University of Technology
  • Assistance with the publication of results Adequate compensation and opportunities for personal and professional development

FINANCING:
Compensation on the basis of a service contract

If you are interested in writing your thesis at the process and particle engineering institute of TUGraz, please contact us indicating the reference number. Candidates will be selected on a competitive basis and will be selected without regard to sex, race or nationality.

Contact: Sara Fathollahi (sara.fathollahinoSpam@tugraz.at, 0316 873 30938)


Kontakt
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Michaela Cibulka
Mag.phil.

Institut für Prozess- und Partikeltechnik
Inffeldgasse 13
8010 Graz

Tel.
+43 316 873 - 30403
Fax
+43 316 873 - 1030403
Sprechstunden
nach Vereinbarung