Researcher’s Day 2018

Meeting Report

Dorothea Gutekunst, PhD; Peter van Hoogevest, PhD
Phospholipid Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

The Phospholipid Research Center ( is a non-profit organization stimulating international academic pharmaceutical research in the area of phospholipid excipients. It funds Postdoc and PhD projects.

In summer 2018, the Phospholipid Research Center invited all principle investigators and their PhD students or Postdocs in charge of funded projects to a big meet and greet. This so-called Researcher`s Day focused on talented young scientist, to give them the chance presenting and discussing their research topics and results in presence of experts. The purpose of the meeting was to bring the researchers together and offer a platform for networking and exchange of scientific ideas. The sixty participants were categorized in three discussion groups related to parenteral, oral and topical administration of phospholipids, respectively. Small, specialized groups should allow for in-depth discussions among scientist having the same main interests. These expert groups were guided by members of the Scientific Advisory Council or the management of the Phospholipid Research Center.


Overview of some highlights:


Dermal Application of Phospholipids

“Electro-Spun Bioactive Wound Dressing”, an innovative and promising technology using Phospholipids to improve formulation properties, presented by Francis Kamau Mwiiri and Prof. R. Daniels (University Tübingen, Germany).

“Investigation of Liposomal Transdermal Drug Delivery by Raman Microscopic Imaging in Combination with Stable Isotopic Labelling as a New Non-Invasive Modality to Study Drug Penetration”, given by Dr. Anna Mühlig (Dr. C. Matthäus) (University Jena, Germany). Their study was an exciting extension to results presented in the seminar of D. Gutekunst obtained with lipidomic analysis, used to track the skin interaction of phospholipid-based formulations.


Oral Application of Phospholipids

Oral administration is still the most important route for drug application. Exploring the knowledge on the utilization of phospholipids and new dosage form types were of special interest of Marina Kolbina (Prof. R. Bodmeier) (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) related to “Extruded Phosphatidylcholine Matrices for Oral Controlled Delivery”. Other novel oral applications of phospholipids were highlighted by Maryam Farzan (Prof. J. Huwyler) (University Basel, Switzerland) by using phospholipids in combination with porous carriers.


Parenteral Application of Phospholipids

The parenteral route is still the most important route of application for phospholipids. Therefore, it is logical that the highest number of research projects came from this area. The potential of Phospholipids is impressive, when considering t the presented technologies in the seminars on “Polymer-Bounded Nanodiscs as Phospholipid Carriers” (Prof. S. Keller, University Kaiserslautern, Germany) and “Lipid Phase Behavior of Phospholipid-Coated Ultrasound Contrast Agents” (Simone Langeveld, Prof. K. Kooiman, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

The meeting closed with a summarizing discussion. Each expert group summarized the acquired knowledge and presented the remaining questions and issues in front of all participants. Some open issues that ask for further investigations acted as take home messages and stimulated further discussions during the following dinner. These were e.g. the still lacking in vivo evidence for oral bioavailability enhancement by phospholipids or the lack of attention paid to phospholipids as emulsifier in parenteral emulsions.