Our People » Sarah Hudson

Office: MS2-019,
MSSI Building,
University of Limerick.

+353 61 23 4981



Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, Ph.D. Chemistry University of Limerick.

M.Sc. by research in Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin.

B.A. (Mod) in Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin.

Research and Teaching Interests

My research is divided into two main strands:

Drug formulation and delivery
This work focuses on the improvement of drug bioavailablilty by crystal engineering approaches, by using ceramics and synthetic polymers as delivery vehicles and by exercising control over crystal growth of sub-micron nanocrystals of poorly water soluble drugs.
One main target application is in the formulation of new drugs to treat antimicrobial resistant infections.
This research will develop biocatalysts using immobilised enzymes for synthetic and medical applications.
We functionalise materials to tailor the immobilisation of enzymes to generate biocatalysts with optimal activity and stability.
In both of these research strands, the following analytical techniques are heavily relied upon:

Solid state NMR, X-ray diffraction
Thermal analysis (TGA, DSC)
HPLC, UV-vis and FTIR
Electron microscopy

Sarah Hudson

I studied Chemistry in Trinity College Dublin which led to a research masters on the synthesis of a family of Re (I) metal complexes and a study of their photophysical properties. Following a sabbatical from academia spent working as a raft guide and safety kayaker on 3 continents, I completed my PhD in 2006 on the immobilization of enzymes onto novel mesoporous supports and their catalytic properties in the University of Limerick. I then secured a Marie Curie Fellowship with Prof Robert Langer in MIT, USA where I worked on the development of in situ crosslinkable hydrogel systems for cartilage regeneration and drug delivery. The biocompatibility (in vivo and in vitro) of micro- and nano- mesoporous silica particles was also studied. After this fellowship, I worked in Waterford Institute of Technology on the identification of the mechanisms and causes of tablet splitting within the Genzyme Ireland Ltd. facility. I was also responsible for the installation and use of a solid state NMR system.

Since November 2011, I have been a lecturer in Chemistry in the Department of Chemical Sciences and a researcher in the Bernal Institute in the University of Limerick. My research focuses on the control of nucleation of organic pharmaceutical molecules and the development of crystallisation technologies to improve the bioavailability of such molecules. My work extends into the pre-formulation space of active pharmaceutical ingredients by controlled crystallisation of the optimal solid form, be it a crystal, co-crystal or salt, in the absence or presence of an excipient, such that process ability, stability and drug efficacy in vivo may be enhanced. We study the effects of the components bio-relevant media on the solution and crystallisation behaviour of active pharmaceutical ingredients in vitro – quantifying drug-component interactions and their influence on nucleation and crystallisation events. Other research interests include bioprocessing, biocatalysis and drug delivery. We examine the factors that influence the optimisation of mammalian and microbial fermentation processes for the production of small and large molecules. Using crystallisation approaches or delivery matrices (polymeric or ceramic), we seek to maximise the bioavailability and activity of these molecules in vivo and reduce the cost of their development into medicines.

Additional Links

• Google Scholar Publications

Proteins in mesoporous silicates
S Hudson, J Cooney, E Magner
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 47 (45), 8582-8594
• View Journal Article

Methodology for the immobilization of enzymes onto mesoporous materials
S Hudson, E Magner, J Cooney, BK Hodnett
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 109 (41), 19496-19506
• View Journal Article

The biocompatibility of mesoporous silicates
SP Hudson, RF Padera, R Langer, DS Kohane
Biomaterials 29 (30), 4045-4055
• View Journal Article