Professor Zeeshan Ahmad

Job: Professor in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery and Royal Society Industry Fellow

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: Leicester School of Pharmacy

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 250 6455

E: zahmad@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/pharmacy

Social Media: uk.linkedin.com/pub/zeeshan-ahmad/7a/971/14b

 

Personal profile

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering and Technology
  • Drug Delivery
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanoscience
  • Biomaterials
  • Formulation
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanofibers
  • Microparticles
  • Pharmaceutical analysis (various models and delivery systems)

Prof. Zeeshan Ahmad's research is illustrated on the images to the right.

Zeeshan Ahmad is a Professor in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery & Royal Society Industry Fellow at De Montfort University (School of Pharmacy). He is a Royal Society Industry Fellow and also leads the EPSRC EHDA Network (a highly interdisciplinary initiative involving industry and academia).

He has broad research interests in medical materials and their applications for healthcare (interfacing at chemistry, biology, physics and biomedical engineering).

Specifically, these include various methods of drug delivery (smart nanoparticles and microparticles, bubbles, fibrous materials and transdermal/skin contact systems), tissue engineering (scaffolds and cell guidance), medical device coatings (orthopedic implants) and biomedical material synthesis (polymers and bioceramics) and fabrication (EHDA, microfluidic and emulsion methods).

He has published numerous articles and is also a peer-reviewer for various journal publishers (RSC, Elsevier, Springer, ACS, IoP, etc). He has delivered presentations (national and international) at symposia (including conferences), industry and universities.He has supervised numerous PhD students (including to completion, national and international) in additon to undergraduates on MPharm, BSc Pharm Sci, BSc Pharm and Cosm Sci, MSc Biomaterials.  

Work (Research/Academic) History

Education

Research group affiliations

Pharmaceutical Technologies

Publications and outputs 

  • Assessing the ex vivo permeation behaviour of functionalised contact lens coatings engineered using an electrohydrodynamic technique
    Assessing the ex vivo permeation behaviour of functionalised contact lens coatings engineered using an electrohydrodynamic technique Al-Kinani, Ali A; Qutachi, Omar; Chang, Ming-Wei; Amoaku, Winfried M; Alany, Raid G; Mehta, P.; Arshad, Muhammad Sohail; Alqahtani, Ali; Ahmad, Z. In vitro testing alone is no longer considered sufficient evidence presented solely with respect to drug release and permeation testing. These studies are thought to be more reliable and representative when using tissue or animal models; as opposed to synthetic membranes. The release of anti-glaucoma drug timolol maleate from electrically atomised coatings was assessed here using freshly excised bovine corneal tissue. Electrohydrodynamic processing was utilised to engineer functionalised fibrous polyvinylpyrrolidone-Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) coatings on the outer side of commercial silicone contact lenses. Benzalkonium chloride, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, Brij® 78 and borneol were employed as permeation enhancers to see their effect on ex vivo permeation of timolol maleate through the cornea. Formulations containing permeation enhancers showed a vast improvement with respect to cumulative amount of drug permeating through the cornea as shown by a six fold decrease in lag time compared to enhancer-free formulations. Most drug delivery systems require the drug to pass or permeate through a tissue or biological membrane. This study has shown that to fullyappreciate and understand how a novel drug delivery system will behave not only within the device but with the external environment or tissue, it is imperative to have in vitro and ex vivo data in open access article
  • Engineering and development of chitosan-based Nanocoatings for Ocular Contact Lenses
    Engineering and development of chitosan-based Nanocoatings for Ocular Contact Lenses Mehta, P.; Al-Kinani, Ali A.; Arshad, Muhammad Sohail; Singh, Neenu; van der Merwe, Susanna M.; Chang, Ming-Wei; Alany, Raid G.; Ahmad, Z. The research manuscript reports on Electrohydrodynamic Atomisation (EHDA) to engineer on-demand novel coatings for ocular contact lenses. A formulation approach was adopted to modulate the release of timolol maleate (TM) using chitosan and borneol. Polymers polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) were utilised to encapsulate TM and were electrically atomised to produce optimised, stationary contact lens coatings. The particle and fibre diameter, thermal stability, material compatibility of the formed coatings along with their in vitro release-modulating effect and ocular tolerability were investigated. The results demonstrated highly stable nano-matrices with advantageous morphology and size. All formulations yielded coatings with high TM encapsulation (>88%); with excellent ocular biocompatibility. The coatings presented biphasic and triphasic release profiles; depending on composition. Kinetic modelling revealed a noticeable effect of chitosan; the higher the concentration, the more the release of TM due to chitosan swelling; with the release mechanism changing from Fickian diffusion (1% w/v; n = 0.5) to non-Fickian (5% w/v, 0.45 < n < 0.89). The use of EHDA has not yet been explored in depth within the ocular research remit; engineering on demand lens coatings capable of sustaining TM release. This is likely to offer an alternative dosage form for management of glaucoma with particular emphasis on improving poor patient compliance. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Assessing the ex vivo permeation behaviour of functionalised contact lens coatings engineered using an electrohydrodynamic technique
    Assessing the ex vivo permeation behaviour of functionalised contact lens coatings engineered using an electrohydrodynamic technique Ahmad, Z.; Alany, Raid G.; Amoaku, W. M.; Chang, Ming-Wei; Alqahtani, Ali; Arshad, Muhammad Sohail; Qutachi, Omar; Al-Kinani, Ali A.; Mehta, P. In vitro testing alone is no longer considered sufficient evidence presented solely with respect to drug release and permeation testing. These studies are thought to be more reliable and representative when using tissue or animal models; as opposed to synthetic membranes. The release of anti-glaucoma drug timolol from electrically atomised coatings was assessed here using freshly excised bovine corneal tissue. Electrohydrodynamic processing was utilised to engineer functionalised fibrous polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) coatings or the outer side of commercial silicone contact lenses. Benzalkonium chloride (BAC), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), Brij® 78 and borneol were employed as permeation enhancers to see their effect on ex vivo permeation of timolol maleate through the cornea. Formulations containing permeation enhancers showed a vast improvement with respect to cumulative amount of drug permeating through the cornea as shown by a 6 fold decrease in lag time compared to enhancer-free formulations. Most drug delivery systems require the drug to pass or permeate through a tissue or biological membrane. This study has shown that to fully appreciate and understand how a novel drug delivery system will behave not only within the device but with the external environment or tissue, it is imperative to have in vitro and ex vivo data in conjunction. open access article
  • Dual Rotation Centrifugal Electrospinning: A Novel Approach to Engineer Multi-Directional and Layered Fiber Composite Matrices
    Dual Rotation Centrifugal Electrospinning: A Novel Approach to Engineer Multi-Directional and Layered Fiber Composite Matrices Wang, Li; Wang, Baolin; Ahmad, Z.; Li, Jing-Song; Chang, Ming-Wei In this study, a dual rotation centrifugal electrospinning system (DRCES) is designed, developed and used to prepare medicated fabrics. Through simultaneous rotation of both spinneret and collector; multi-directional blended fiber matrices (PVP and TPU) were deposited directly on the rotating collector. To detail the process, key stages of the centrifugal electrospinning process are elaborated, and the influence of gas infusion and collector rotation speed on resulting fiber morphologies were explored. Multi-directional fibrous structures show in vitro biocompatibility (fibroblast). Regulation of drug release rate was achieved using polymer composition and filament alignment. This study demonstrates a rapid fabrication method (~ 50 g/h) to engineer layered fibrous structures using DRCES; which provides a foundation for preparing complex drug matrices (single and multi–directional) for tailored active component release.
  • Pharmacological Effects of Natural Ganoderma and Its Extracts on Neurological Diseases: A Comprehensive Review
    Pharmacological Effects of Natural Ganoderma and Its Extracts on Neurological Diseases: A Comprehensive Review Zhao, C.; Zhang, Chunchen; Xing, Z.; Ahmad, Z.; Li, Jing-Song; Chang, Ming-Wei Ganoderma, has been used for clinical applications for thousands of years as a highly-nutritious and significantly-effective medicinal herb. The active components and efficacy of Ganoderma are constantly being explored and supplemented every year. In recent years, more and more literature has reported the pharmacological effects of Ganoderma on anti-tumor, liver protection and immunity enhancement, especially on neuroprotection. Numerous research works on the neuroprotective effects of Ganoderma have been documented (e.g., modulation of neurogenesis, amelioration of Alzheimer's disease, therapeutic effect on epilepsy, the protective effect on neural cells in stroke injury, etc.) thus it has drawn increasing attention. However, an integrated and comprehensive review of recent research findings has not been detailed in any great depth. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to summarize and elucidate recent progress of neuroprotective effects of natural Ganoderma and its extracts. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Elastic Anti-Bacterial Membranes Comprising Particulate Laden Fibers for Wound Healing Applications
    Elastic Anti-Bacterial Membranes Comprising Particulate Laden Fibers for Wound Healing Applications Lia, Yudong; Zhang, Chunchen; Zhu, Li-Fang; Ahmad, Z.; Li, Jing-Song; Chang, Ming-Wei Medicated skin care products are available in various forms; ranging from lotions and creams to bandages and membranes. In this study, anti-bacterial particulate laden fibrous membranes were prepared via electrospraying of tetracycline hydrochloride (TE-HCL) loaded poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) particles alongside electrospinning of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fibers, through which both mechanical and biological aspects of a complete membrane system can be achieved. Random (R) and ordered (P and V) patterns of TPU fibrous membranes (FMs) were afforded using a rotating collector. Water contact angle and bacterial inhibition zone tests were performed to assess suitability of the system specifically for wound care. Stress-strain and in-vitro drug release tests were performed to assess suitability of newly developed systems specifically for hybrid membranes (HMs). The highest tensile strength (32.1 ± 4.9 MPa) with elasticity (104.2 ± 6.0 %) and the most sustained release rate indicate HMs (P) are potentially suitable materials for wound care applications. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Targeting Oxidative Stress Using Tri-Needle Electrospray Engineered Ganoderma Lucidum Polysaccharide-loaded Porous Yolk-Shell Particles
    Targeting Oxidative Stress Using Tri-Needle Electrospray Engineered Ganoderma Lucidum Polysaccharide-loaded Porous Yolk-Shell Particles Xing, Z.; Zhang, C; Zhaoc, C.; Ahmad, Z.; Li, Jing-Song; Changa, M. Chronic lung diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) are associated with oxidative stress and common treatments include various types of inhalation therapies. In this work ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP), a naturally occurring antioxidant is loaded into porous Poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) particles using a single step tri-needle coaxial electrospray process (Tri-needle CES); with a view to develop therapies to combat oxidative stress. Based on the core-shell structure of porous yolk shell particles (YSPs), GLP-loaded YSPs displayed a bi-phasic release pattern. In vitro cell studies indicate GLP-loaded porous YSPs display good biocompatibility and positive attributes towards H2O2-induced oxidative stress in MRC-5 cells and dramatically attenuate intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels as well as significantly increase cell viability. In vivo inhalation studies indicate that GLP-loaded porous YSPs can be delivered to deep lung tissue and remain deposited for over 48 h and are subsequently removed by natural clearance mechanisms. Based on current findings GLP-loaded porous YSPs are suitable for pulmonary delivery and display good inhalation therapy potential to treat chronic lung diseases.
  • Broad Scale & Structure Fabrication of Healthcare Materials for Drug and Emerging Therapies Via Electrohydrodynamic Techniques
    Broad Scale & Structure Fabrication of Healthcare Materials for Drug and Emerging Therapies Via Electrohydrodynamic Techniques Mehta, P.; Zaman, A.; Smith, A.; Rasekh, M.; Haj-Ahmad, R.; Arshad, M. S.; van der Merwe, S.; Chang, M-W.; Ahmad, Z. The engineering of advanced healthcare materials provides a platform to address challenges facing interdisciplinary scientists, clinicians, pharmacists, biomaterial scientists and biomedical engineers. Niche and timely developments arising from the synthesis or extraction of more biocompatible materials, new biologically active components, clearer insights into disease mechanisms and novel therapies or strategies provide several timely opportunities. These include enhanced therapies with greater patient compliance, improved disease targeting, better diagnosis and bespoke medications for individuals. Electrohydrodynamic atomisation (EHDA) engineering comprises several processes making use of electric fields (e.g. through an applied voltage) interplaying with several forces (e.g. gravity and surface tension). Coupled to advanced materials (e.g. formulated media) and specifically configured apparatuses (e.g. nozzles, collectors and downstream processes); effective and controlled fabrication of various structures (fibers, particles, bubbles, grids, droplets) on various scales (macro, micro and nano) possessing various dimensions (2D, 3D and 4D) is readily achieved. The processes have distinct advantages compared to established engineering methods (ambient environment engineering, low shear, scalability, compartmentalisation etc.). This detailed review focuses on key concepts and developments in EHDA engineering pertaining to underlying principles, enabling tools and engineered structures specifically for healthcare remits. From initial experiments involving the behaviour of non-formulated liquids on charged amber to recent developments in complex 3D matrix printing; the EHDA route has progressed significantly, most rapidly in the last two decades, and is capable of providing timely platform opportunities to tackle several global healthcare challenges The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Controlled Engineering of Highly Aligned Fibrous Dosage Form Matrices for Controlled Release
    Controlled Engineering of Highly Aligned Fibrous Dosage Form Matrices for Controlled Release Wu, Shuting; Ahmad, Z.; Li, Jing-Song; Chang, Ming-Wei In this study, complex drug-cellulose acetate (CA) composite films were designed and fabricated possessing pre-determined grid spacing for inter-connected fibrous films. Ibuprofen (IBU) was selected as the active ingredient. and grid spacing was varied between 300 to 500μm (fiber diameter~35μm) for various geometries. Process parameter impact on fiber morphology and deposition was investigated. FTIR confirmed IBU encapsulation and XRD analysis indicated the drug was dispersed (amorphous) in films. Inter-connected grid void geometry was shown to impact water contact behavior, and drug release mechanism was shown to be Fickian diffusion. Furthermore, drug release rate depended on geometry of engineered structures. The findings suggest a spatial design approach for modulated drug release from bespoke drug delivery dosage forms. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • High Throughput Engineering and Use of Multi-Fiber Composite Matrices for Controlled Active Release
    High Throughput Engineering and Use of Multi-Fiber Composite Matrices for Controlled Active Release Wang, Li; Zhang, Chunchen; Wang, Hui-Min David; Ahmad, Z.; Li, Jing-Song; Chang, Ming-Wei A tri-compartment centrifugal electrospinning system (TCCES) was designed and used to fabricate multiple fiber membranes (from individual polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and poly-methyl methacrylate (PMMA) fibers). Controlled engineering of membrane composition presents opportunities to control mechanical and water contact angle characteristics. Furthermore, control on drug release rate is achieved based on active hosting fiber type contributing towards the overall membrane. The current system enables a high degree of alignment, production rate and variations to composition, indicating clear potential in biomedical fields requiring the use of encapsulated or embedded drug in membrane materials. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Click here to view a full listing of Zeeshan Ahmad's publications and outputs

Key research outputs

  • Preparation and characterization of electrospun hydroxyapatite/poly-ε-carpolactone fibers loaded with ibuprofen and indomethacin
  • C. Karavasili et al. Biomedical Materials Research Part A. 102, 2583 (2014)
  • Continuous Generation of Ethyl Cellulose Drug Delivery Nanocarriers from Microbubbles
  • O.Gunduz et al. Pharmaceutical Research 30, 225 (2013)
  • Bioinspired bubble design for particle generation
  • O.Gunduz et al. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 9, 389 (2012)
  • Fabrication of biomaterials via controlled protein bubble generation and manipulation
  • Z. Ekemen et al. Biomacromolecules 12, 4291 (2011)
  • Nano-particle functionality and toxicity on the central nervous system
  • Z Yang et al. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 7, 411 (2010)
  • Novel preparation of transdermal drug-delivery patches and functional wound healing materials
  • Z. Ahmad et al. Journal of Drug Targeting 17, 724 (2009)
  • The role of electrosprayed nanoapatites in guiding osteoblast behaviour. E.S. Thian et al. Biomaterials 29, 1833 (2008)

Research interests/expertise

  • Pharmaceutics / Pharmaceutical Technologies
  • Pharmaceutic Dosage Design
  • Nanoparticles and Microparticles
  • Biomaterials (bioceramics and biocompatible polymers)
  • Biomedical Materials (applications for advanced functional biomaterials)
  • Drug Delivery Systems (transdermal (parenteral) and enteral systems)
  • Drug Delivery Systems (nano, micro and bubble)
  • Drug Delivery Systems (in-vitro models)
  • Drug Delivery Systems with Imaging modalities
  • Drug Delivery Technologies (EHDA, microfluidic, emulsions)
  • Bio and Tissue Engineering (scaffold design and cell guidance)
  • Implants (Coatings and Biocompatible materials)
  • Materials Chemistry (polymers/bioceramics and interfaces)
  • Biointerfaces (Cell guidance, Drug delivery systems at interfaces)
  • Material Fabrication (EHDA, Microfluidic, Emulsions, Casting).
  • Material Analysis: Optical, SEM, TEM, AFM, XRD, DSC, TGA, HPLC, UV, Confocal, FTIR, Raman, Terahertz. Physical properties of materials.

Areas of teaching

  • Product Formulation (lectures) (Yr2)
  • Development and Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products (lectures) (Yr3)
  • New Approaches to Drug Delivery (lectures) (Yr3)
  • Product Formulation Labs (Yr2)
  • Compounding Labs (Yr1)
  • Final Year Project Supervision (Yr3)
  • MSc QbD Projects (MSc)

Qualifications

Courses taught

  • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Sciences BSc

Honours and awards

Royal Society Industry Fellow

Leverhulme Research Fellow

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • American Chemical Society (ACS) - Member
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) - Member
  • Controlled Release Society (CRS) - Member
  • Controlled Release Society - UK Chapter (UKICRS) - Member
  • Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences GB (APSGB) - Member
  • European Society of Biomaterials (ESB) - Member
  • UK Society of Biomaterials (UKSB) – Member

Current research students

Post-doctoral researchers:

  • Dr. R Haj-Ahmad
  • Dr.  M Rasekh (Visiting)

Past PhD students (completed) -

  • Z Ekemen (Co-I)
  • M Rasekh (Co-I)
  • O Gunduz (Co-I)
  • A Smith (P-I/Co-I)
  • I Kucuc (Co-I)

Current PhD students -

  • K Nazari
  • P Mehta
  • A Gamal
  • S Ramzan
  • A Al-Asiri

Externally funded research grants information

 

  • RCUK (EPSRC), Royal Society, EU and Industry

 

Professional esteem indicators

  • Peer reviewer for numerous internationally recognised journals (mainly from Springer, Wiley, RSC, Elsevier, IoP, ASPB, Informa, PLoS)

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