27 September 2022 Volume :10 Issue :44

Study on Effects of Nano-Delivery Systems for Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Study on Effects of Nano-Delivery Systems for Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy
Dr Edwin Naidu (left) is congratulated by his supervisor and mentor, Professor Onyemaechi Azu.

Effects of nano-delivery systems for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in an animal model was the focus of research conducted by Dr Edwin Naidu (59), who was awarded a PhD in Health Sciences (Anatomy).

This study investigated the effects and toxicity profile of nano-delivery systems using novel nano-formulations to penetrate privileged tissue in managing complications associated with HIV infection.

The key findings were that ion-paired vancomycin-linoleic acid conjugates in solid lipid nanoparticles had superior penetration into protected anatomical sanctuary sites. However, the toxicity potential to sensitive reproductive tissue and metabolic-excretory organs, was still a cause for concern.

‘It feels good to have been able to overcome many challenges and finish despite setbacks. I was truly blessed to have had a brilliant and dedicated supervisor in Professor Onyemaechi Azu, and a wonderful Morphology and Andrology Group team,’ said Naidu, a senior lecturer at UKZN.

He said lecturing in Human Anatomy at UKZN for nearly three decades had been fulfilling and he hoped to pass on some of his research experience to students and colleagues before retiring.

Among challenges he faced were dealing with illness and the untimely deaths of his brother Dr Jesse S Naidu, his colleague Mr Salem Kharwa, and his long-time friend and UCT supervisor Dr Lester John, who all died in tragic circumstances during his study which he dedicated to their memory.

Naidu’s master’s degree was in the field of clinical pharmacology which focused on pharmacokinetics and toxicology giving him an opportunity to earn a distinction for his dissertation on clinical trial simulations using non-linear regression analysis mixed effects modelling (NONMEM).

This unique experience together with a medical background, provided an ideal opportunity to further his interest and gain mastery in the exciting field of nano-medicine.

His thesis generated four publications, two of which achieved milestones - one being the top cited review paper in 2020-2021 (https://doi.org/10.1002/prp2.776) and the other, the research paper having over 1 000 reads in one year (doi:10.1080/21691401.2021.1968883).  There was also a book chapter in HIV/AIDS Oxidative Stress and Dietary Antioxidants (pp. 219-238): VR Preedy & RR Watson (Eds), Academic Press - Elsevier. 

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photograph: Supplied

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