Biotechnology and Drug Development Research Laboratory

Our research focuses on innovative pharmaceutical and therapeutic systems for diabetes treatment, utilising microencapsulation technology for drugs, pancreatic or bacterial-probiotic cells, and tissue engineering. It aims to use cutting-edge biomaterial-matrices to develop new therapeutics for diabetes treatment, with a focus on ameliorating diabetes-associated inflammation. We also develop targeted-release delivery systems, bioengineered particles and cell delivery matrices.


the biotechnology lab team

We are interested in utilising bile acids as formulation excipients, permeation enhancers and biotherapeutics in drug and cell delivery systems. These systems are designed for enhanced efficacy in preclinical and clinical applications. Our systems have wide applications in pharmaceutical and biomedical science, in bioencapsulation of mammalian and bacterial cells, as well as poorly absorbed drugs.


Laboratory staff

 DETAILS
Hani Al-Salami Hani Al-Salami
Senior Lecturer

Email: hani.al-salami@curtin.edu.au
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Nassim ZamaniNassim Zamani RA (2017-2017) PhD candidate (2018-current)
Project: Biotechnological microencapsulating methodologies to design bile acid-based nano-capsules for diabetes mellitus
Gabrielle SteadmanGabrielle Steadman Honour student (2017-2018)
Project: Biotechnology and microencapsulation techniques in bioengineering targeted delivery matrices and treating diabetes
Mudi AmmounMudi Ammoun
Honour student (2017-present)
Project: Microencapsulation and cell delivery and applications in diabetes treatment.

Email: mohammad.ammoun@student.curtin.edu.au
Armin MooranianArmin Mooranian PhD student (2014-present)
Project: Novel artificial cell microencapsulation of probucol and bile acids in diabetes mellitus.

Email: armin.mooranian@postgrad.curtin.edu.au
Rebecca NegruljRebecca Negrulj Honour student (2013-2014)
PhD student (2015-present)
Project: The applications of bile acids and microencapsulation technology in diabetes mellitus.

Email: rebecca.negrulj@student.curtin.edu.au
Louise WoodhamsLouise Woodhams Honour student (2016-present)
Project: Polymer-drug interaction in the microencapsulation and delivery of antidiabetic agents with or without bile acids.

Email: louise.woodhams@student.curtin.edu.au
Sangeetha Mathavan Sangeetha Mathavan
PhD student (2013-present)
Project: The applications of microencapsulated formulation of gliclazide and bile acids in Type-1 diabetes mellitus.

Email: sangeetha.mathavan@postgrad.curtin.edu.au

Visiting researchers

 DETAILS
Dr Bojan Stanimirov Dr Bojan Stanimirov (2017-2017)
Project: Biochemical and pharmacological applications of bile acid signalling in diabetes
Dr Nebojsa PavlovicNebojsa Pavlovic
(2017-2017)
Project: Pharmaceutical and biotechnological process in gene therapy and diabetes treatment.
Dr Ana Tomas Dr Ana Tomas
(2017-2018)
Project: Pharmaceutical formulation, drug delivery and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses

Alumni

 DETAILS
Ali Al Assadi
Master student (2013-2016)
Project: The applications of exenatide formulation, stability and analytical methods in Type-2 diabetes mellitus.

Email: ali.alassadi@postgrad.curtin.edu.au
Ingrid Van Zyl Brooks
Master student (2013-2016)
Project: The impact of gliclazide formulation and probiotic intake on Type-2 diabetes mellitus patients (Osborn Park Hospital Study).

Email: Ingrid.Vanzyl@curtin.edu.au
Jessica SciarrettaJessica Sciarretta
Honour student (2013-2014)
Project: Microencapsulated bile acid formulation for use in Type-1 diabetes mellitus.

Email: jessica.sciarretta@student.curtin.edu.au

Research outcomes

Refereed publications

  • Hani At-Salam.i Intestinal drug absorption and drug-drug interaction. New Zealand Pharmacy Today. Nov 2009; p47-48.
  • AI-Salami H, Kansara H. King J, Morar B. Jayathilaka B. Fawcett JP. Mikov M. Bile acids: a bitter sweet remedy for diabetes. NZ Pharm J 2007;27 (10):17-20
  • Hani AI-Salami. Drug absorption in diabetes.NZ Pharmacy. Jun 2009; p46-48.

Peer-reviewed book chapters

  • Momir Mikov, Golocorbin-Kon Svetlana & Hani At-Salami. Potentials and limitations of bile acids and probiotics in diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes mellitus. lntech Worldwide Publishing Co. Inc..Europe (2012).
  • Hani AI-Salami, Rima Caccetta, Golocorbin-Kon Svetlana and Momir Mikov. Probiotics applications in inflammatory disease models. Probiotics. lntech Worldwide Publishing Co. Inc., Europe (2012).

Selected conference presentation/invited speaker

  • Hani Al-Salami. The applications of bile acids and probiotics in diabetes, using Artificial Cell Microencapsulation. ANZLAA conference, Perth, Australia, 2013.
  • Hani At-Salami, Jorge Martinez. Grant Butt. J Paul Fawcett, tanG Tucker, Momir Mikov. Probiotic treatment decreases the oral absorption of the semisynthetic bile acid, Monoketocholic acid (MKC), in healthy and diabetic rats. Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute Conference, Australia, 2012
  • Mikov M., Golocorbin-Kon S., Raskovic A, Vasovic V., AI-Salami H. Bile acids and their derivatives as absorption modifiers. Thee”‘ European Congress on Xenobiotic Metabolism and Toxicity, Greece, 2010.
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG. Mikov M. A comparison between in vivo and ex vivo absorption of gliclazide through diabetic tissues. Formulation and Delivery of Bioactives Conference 2008, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP,Tucker IG, Mikov M. The influence of 3o,7a-dihydroxy-12-keto-5j3-cholanate (MKC), glibenclamide,rifampicin,and verapamil on gliclazide permeation through the gut wall in healthy rats.Formulation and Delivery of Bioactives Conference 2007, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Refereed conference abstracts and posters

  • Armin Mooranian, Rebecca Negrulj, Ryusuke Takechi and Hani Al-Salami. Novel multi-compartmental microcapsules for the oral targeted delivery of a potential antidiabetic drug, probucol, using bile acid­ based formulation: anti-hyperglycaemic and anti-inflammatory effects in an animal model of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. 20th International Symposium on Microencapsulation, October 1-3, 2015, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Armin Mooranian, Rebecca Negrulj, Nigel Chen-Tan, Marc Fakhoury, Franca Jones, Frank Arfuso and Hani Al-Salami. Novel multi-compartmental bile-acid based microcapsules for pancreatic β-cell transplantation. 2015 IPITA/IXA/CTS Joint Congress. November 17, 2015, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Armin Mooranian & Hani Al-Salami. Microencapsulation as a novel delivery method for the potential antidiabetic drug, Probucol. Mark Liveris Conference, Perth WA, Australia, November 2014.
  • Ingrid Van Zyl Brook & Hani Al-Salami. The influence of gliclazide formulation and probiotics intake on the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Mark Liveris Conference, Perth WA, Australia, November 2014.
  • Sangeetha Mathavan, Erik Helmerhorst, Nigel Chen-Tan & Hani Al-Salami. The effect of the tertiary bile acid, Ursodeoxycholic acid on the morphology and rheological characterization of gliclazide microcapsules and potential application in Type-1 Diabetes. Mark Liveris Conference, Perth WA, Australia, November 2014.
  • Lalic-Popovic, M. and Vasovic, V. and Al-Salami, H. and Golocorbin-Kon, S. and Milijasevic, B. and Mikov, M. 2013. Correlation between in vitro tests for blood brain barrier penetration with in vivo gliclazide penetration. Clinical Therapeutics. 35 (S8): pp. e87-e87.
  • H AI-Salami; J Martinez: G Butt; J Fawcett: ITucker: M Mikov. Chronic treatment with probiotics reduces the bioavailability of a primary stable¬ analogue bile acid in a rat model of Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes-New Insights into Mechanism of Disease and its Treatment. Keystone, Colorado, USA; 2013
  • Calasan J, AI-Salami H, Mikov M. Bile acids and probiotics could help treating diabetes. FEBS J; 2012: 279; 267-267
  • Saha S, Tomaro-Duchesneau C, Malhotra M, AI-Salami H, Kahouli I, Prakash S. (2011) Development of an in vitro oral ecosystem model to investigate probiotics as a therapeutic for maintaining oral health. Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Controlled Release Society and the Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada-Multidisciplinary Approaches to Modern Therapeutics: Joining Forces for a Healthier Tomorrow. Montreal, QC, Canada.
  • Tomaro-Duchesneau C, Saha S, Malhotra M, AI-Salami H, Kahouli I, Prakash S. (2011) Artificial cell APA microcapsules for the delivery of a Lactobacillus fermentum based therapeutic. Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Controlled Release Society and the Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada-Multidisciplinary Approaches to Modern Therapeutics: Joining Forces for a Healthier Tomorrow.Montreal.QC,Canada.
  • Tomaro-Duchesneau C, Saha S, Malhotra M, At-SalamiH. Coussa-Charley M, Prakash S. (2011) Selection and characterization of FAE active prob1otic bacteria for the development of therapeutics International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics.Kosice, Slovakia
  • Kahouli I, Tomaro-Duchesneau C, Malhotra M, At-Salami H. Saha S, Prakash S.(2011) Effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus supernatant on colon cancer cell proliferation and polyamine synthesis. Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Controlled Release Society and the Natural Health Products Research Society of Canada-Multidisciplinary Approaches to Modem Therapeutics:Joining Forces for a Healthier Tomorrow. Montreal, QC,Canada.
  • Rodes L, Coussa-Charley M, Kahouli I,AI-Salami H, Prakash S. (2011) In vitro investigation of the human gut microbiota using a computer-controlled dynamic human gastrointestinal model. MicrobialCommunities as Drivers of Ecosystem Complexity, Colorado, USA
  • Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau,Shyamali Saha, Meenakshi Malhotra. Hani AI-Salami, Michael Coussa-Charley, Satya Prakash. (2011). Selection and characterization of FAE active probiotic bacteria for the development of therapeutic formulations. International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics Slovakia
  • Chris Jackson, Hani AI-Salami, Raja Chemali, Satya Prakash. (2011). Deposition of Alginate on a Stainless Steel Substrate for Industrial Biomedical Applications. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada.
  • Daniel Marinescu, Hani AI-Salami, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Satya Prakash. (2011). The stability of bile salt hydrolase producing microencapsulated Lactobacillus bacteria. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada.
  • lmen Kahouli, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Meenkashi Malhotra, HaniAI-Salami, Shyamali Saha, Lai:Hitia Sonia Rodes, Marc Fakhoury, Raja Chemal,i Satya Prakash. (2011). The effect of Lactobacillus acidophi/us on colon adenocarcinoma cell proliferation: in vitro analysis. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada.
  • Marc Fakhoury, Michael Coussa-Charley, Arghya Paul, Laetitia Rodes, Wei Shao, Hani AI-Salami, Imen Kahouli, Satya Prakash. (2011). Anti¬ inflammatory potential of artificial microcapsules containing Thalidomide: in-vitro analysis. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada.
  • Meenakshi Malhotra, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Shyamali Saha,Raja Chemali, Imen Kahouli, Hani AI-Salami and Satya Prakash. (2011). Nanoparticles mediated therapeutic delivery using cell-targeting peptides: limitations and potential applications. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada.
  • ShyamaliSaha,Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Meenakshi Malhotra, Hani AI-Salami, Imen Kahouli, Maryam Trabizian, Satya Prakash. Development of an oral ecosystem model to study the effects of the microfiora on oral health. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada; 2011.
  • Probiotic applications in health and disease: a myth or tomorrow’s realities? Hani AI-Salami, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Laetitia Rodes, I men Kahouli, Shyamali Saha, Michael Coussa-Charley, Satya Prakash. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada; 2011.
  • Raja Chemali, Meenakshi Malhotra, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Shyamali Saha, lmen Kahouli, Chris Jackson, Hani AI-Salami and Satya Prakash. Surface functionalized single walled carbon nanotubes for tumor specific targeting – characterization and in vitro studies. Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Canada; 2011.
  • Laetitia Rodes, Michael Coussa-Charley, Imen Kahouli, Hani AI-Salami, Satya Prakash. In vitro investigation of the human gut microbiota using a computer-controlled dynamic human gastrointestinal model. Keystone Symposia. Microbial Communities as Drivers of Ecosystem Complexity, Colorado, USA, March 2011.
  • Hani AI-Salami,Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Laetitia Rodes, lmen Kahouli, Shyamali Saha, MichaelCoussa-Charley, Satya Prakash. In vitro gastrointestinal modelfor probiotic research: potentials and limitations. 6th International Symposium on probiotics and health: key findings and new directions, Canada, Oct 2010.
  • Mikov M., Golocorbin-Kon S., AI-Salami H. The effect of the semisynthetic bile acid salt, sodium 3a,7a-dihydroxy-12-oxo-5i3-cholanate and probiotic pretreatment on gliclazide permeation in ileal tissues from healthy and diabetic rats. The 11 111 International Conference of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology; Oradea, June 2010; 14 (Suppl 3): 29.
  • Lalic M., Golocorbin-Kon S., Cvejic J., Bozic K., AI-Salami H., Mikov M. Lamotrigine and Valproate Pharmacokinetic Interactions in Epileptic Patients. The 8′” European Congress on Xenobiotic Metabolism and Toxicity, Greece,Oct 2010.
  • A Paul, Hani AI-Salami, Dominique Shum-Tim, Cynthia B. Elias, Satya Prakash (2010). Insect cells for cytokine production and stem cell mediated gene therapy applications. 7th Annual PEG8-the essential protein engineering summit, (2010), Boston, US.
  • AI-Salami H. Butt G. Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. The influence of the symisynthetic bile acid (MKC) on the ileal permeation of gliclazide in healthy and diabetic rats. Keystone Symposia, Diabetes Mellitus, Insulin Action and Resistance, Colorado, USA, January 2008
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. Probiotic treatment reduces blood glucose and increases systemic absorption of gliclazide in diabetic rats. The 2″d Asian Pacific Regional Meeting of the I nternational Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX), Shanghai, China,May 2008
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. The influence of pretreatment with probiotics on the ileal permeation of gliclazide in healthy and diabetic rats. The 101 European Regional Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX), Vienna, Austria, May 2008
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. MKC permeation through rat ileum is inhibited in diabetic animals. The 7 1 Balkan Conference on Xenobiotics, Metabolism & Toxicity, Palic,Serbia, June 2008
  • AI-SalamiH, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. The Ussing chamber as an ex vivo system to investigate the influence of probiotic treatment on drug absorption. Formulation and Delivery of Bioactives Conference 2008. Dunedin, New Zealand. February 2008
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G. Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. Gliclazide reduces MKC permeation through the ileal mucosa (ex vivo) in healthy rats but has no effect in diabetic rats. The 7′” Balkan Conference on Xenobiotics, Metabolism & Toxicity, Palic, Serbia. June 2008
  • AI-SalamiH, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. The effect of probiotic pretreatment on the systemic absorption of the semisynthetic bile acid, MKC, and on blood glucose levels in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The 13′” Serbian Congress of Pharmacology & 3’d Serbian Congress of Clinical Pharmacotherapy (with International Participation}, Palic, Serbia, June 2008.
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Fawcett JP, Tucker IG, Mikov M. Probiotic pretreatment for three days reduces MKC absorption in healthy and diabetic rats. The Balkan Conference on Pharmacology & Toxicity, Belgrade, Serbia. May 2007.
  • Mikov M. Golocorbin-Kon S,AI-Salami H. Kuhajda K, Kevresan S, Raskovic A, Jakovljevic E. Presystemic metabolism by gut microflora- The significance for pharmacotherapy. The 12111 Serbian Congress of Pharmacology & 2″d Serbian Congress of Clinical Pharmacotherapy (with International Participation), Palic, Serbia, May 2007
  • Mikov M, AI-Salami H, Kuhajda K, Kevresan S, Fawcett JP. Bioavailability and hypoglycemic effect of 3o,7o-dihydroxy-12-keto-5j3-cholanate (MKC) in healthy and diabetic rats. The 121 Serbian Congress of Pharmacology & 2″d Serbian Congress of Clinical Pharmacotherapy (with International Participation), Palic, Serbia, May 2007
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Tucker IG, Mikov M. The influence of 3o,7o-dihydroxy-12-keto-5j3-cholanate on ex vivo ileal permeation of gliclazide in healthy and diabetic rats. The 12″‘ Serbian Congress of Pharmacology & 2″d Serbian Congress of Clinical Pharmacotherapy (within International Participation), Palic, Serbia, May 2007
  • AI-Salami H, Butt G, Tucker IG, Mikov M. The influence of the semisynthetic bile acid, MKC,on the ileal permeation of gliclazide in heal thy and diabetic rats. Annual Conference of the Australian Pharmaceutical Science Association (APSA), Sydney, Australia. December 2007
  • Mikov M., AI-Salami H, Kuhajda K, Kevresan S, Golocorbin-Kon S, Fawcett JP Pharmacokinetics and hypoglycemic activity of the semisynthetic bile acid salt, sodium 3a,7o-dihydroxy-12-oxo-5j3-cholanate in diabetic rats. PP494 3151 FEBS Congress, Istanbul, June 2006. Abstracts; The FEBS Journal2006; 273 (Suppl 1}: 210 (ISSN 1742-464X)

Selected publications (acknowledged for study design & statistical analysis)

  • Meenakshi Malhotra,Ciaran Lane, Catherine Tomaro-Duchesneau, Shyamali Saha and Satya Prakash. A novel method for synthesizing PEGylated chitosan nanoparticles: strategy, preparation, and in vitro analysis. International Journal of Nanomedicine.2011, 6,485- 494.

Journal papers

  • Armin Mooranian, Rebecca Negrulj, Emma Jamieson, Grant Morahan, Hani Al-Salami. Biological Assessments of Encapsulated Pancreatic β-Cells: Their Potential Transplantation in Diabetes. Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering; 2016, in press.

Awards and scholarships

Scholarships

NAMESCHOLARSHIP
Armin Mooranian Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) + Curtin Research Scholarship (CRS) - 2015
Rebecca NegruljAustralian Postgraduate Award (APA) + Curtin Research Scholarship (CRS) - 2015
Sangeetha MathavanCurtin University Postgraduate Scholarship (CUPS)/Curtin Research Scholarship (CRS) - 2013

Awards

AWARDS
Louise Woodhams: Top International Australian Pharmacy SA conference; 1 of 3 best delegates representing Australia in Taiwan, August 2017
Louise Woodhams: Top 20 Australian pharmacy students, NAPSA, January 2017
Sangeetha Mathavan: Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association conference, best poster, 2015
Armin Mooranian: Best oral presentation; Mark Liveris Conference, Perth WA, Australia, November 2014
Ingrid Van Zyl Brooks: Best poster presentation; Mark Liveris Conference, Perth WA, Australia, November 2014

Laboratory equipment