Marco Tjakra, PhD student at the Department of Pharmacy

Marco presented his research project Diffusion, dissolution and release mechanisms for dosage forms that deliver drugs to the colon: the importance of the colon’s mucus layer as a barrier to drug absorption, conducted within the framework of COLOTAN.

“The unique structure of the mucus enables it to act as a barrier of drug absorption, but it can also be utilized as a reservoir by making use of mucoadhesive drug carrier. However, there are still some problem regarding specificity and release, in combination with properties such as low drug solubility and microbial interference, and through this project we hope to add important knowledge about drug dissolution, diffusion and absorption from the human colon with a focus on the colon’s mucus layer,” says Marco Tjakra.

Marco Tjakra's research, illustration: SweDeliver
Marco Tjakra’s research, illustration: SweDeliver

In the long term, the work will provide a basis for the design of decision schemes for drug delivery in the large intestine and improved in silico models to predict dosage form design as well as performance in vivo for complex controlled and sustained release formulations. The result will also be relevant for nutrition and food sciences, since the mucus also serves as a barrier for nutrition uptake process.

Marco Tjakra was recruited to Uppsala University and Lab Bergström in 2021. He has previously studied Biomedical Engineering in Chongqing University, China and graduated with Master of Engineering degree in 2020. His previous research involves signalling pathway in the neurovascular unit with relation of hemodynamic force and toxicology. During bachelor study in Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, he was investigating antimicrobial compound from essential oil to combat oral biofilm forming bacteria.