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Hydroxyapatite (HAp) coated iron oxide nanoparticles for controlled and targeted delivery of drugs for cancer and other diseases

NRC Grant:  14-016

Dr. W. R. M. De Silva
Dept. of Chemistry
Faculty of Science
University of Colombo
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Area of Research:  Nanotechnology
Status:   Ongoing



a) Synthesis of HAp/magnetic nanocomposite with small size and narrow size distribution to prevent it from being cleared by blood circulation.

b) Developing a novel method to synthesize low crystalline HAp coating (more porous/ hollow). 

c) Modification of the HAp matrix to have a proper mechanism for controlled release of drugs. 


Nanoscience is fast emerging and multidisciplinary field that could revolutionize the economy, science and capacity building of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has a large pool of skilled personnel which could be harnessed for the development of major fields like healthcare.  This type of research will allow the scientists to get hands on experience in numerous nanotechnological techniques, instrumental handling which are practically important in achieving technological progress and competitiveness.  In advance this could produce high quality personnel, employable in high tech industry or education institutes.  Currently there is a huge tendency in migration of graduates out of the country which has led to a severe brain drain.  As most of them are not returning back, country is not only losing its investments in education but also the contribution of these workers to important fields like healthcare.  Therefore to convert this to a wisdom gain, there is high necessity to recognize the potential research areas like these as the possible discoveries could be used to compete with the already available in the world.  These studies can be used to make the necessary parties (private/ public drug companies) aware about such discoveries and to encourage them to invest their money for further scaling up processes.  Because most of the drug companies in Sri Lanka involve in drug distribution rather than drug manufacturing.  The idea behind this is to convince them about the potential skill there is among the Sri Lankan scientists and to maintain our own intellectual properties.