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Dr Zhigao Niu received his PhD degree with distinction (2016) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He was involved in a European 7th Framework Program (TRANS-INT) focusing on advanced technologies for oral peptide delivery and the understanding of absorptive barriers.
Currently, his research at Massey University involves (i) biopolymer and/or lipid-based systems for gastric protection, controlled release, and enhanced absorption of food-derived bioactives; (ii) colon-targeted delivery of therapeutics for local disease treatment; (iii) impact of food digestion on the oral bioavailability of bioactive compounds at a molecular level; and (iv) application of 3D organoids in food, nutrition and pharmaceutical sciences.
Dr. Niu is an inventor of two international patents. His work has been published in top journals across pharmaceutical science, food science, material and colloidal sciences, such as Journal of Controlled Release (IF 7.9), Advanced Materials (IF 25.8), Food Hydrocolloids (IF 5.8), Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (IF 6.4), etc. He is a reviewer of nine international journals including Food & Function, Food Hydrocolloids, Food Chemistry, Drug Delivery and Translational Research, and European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Area of Expertise
We seek to overcome gastrointestinal barriers, promote the oral bioavailability of BCS II, III, IV bioactives (improving solubility, stability, permeability) and maximise the health-enhancing efficacy of food-derived bioactives using pharma-inspired approaches.
Lipid and/or polymer-based drug/nutrient delivery systems;
Nanoencapsulation of hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules;
Gastric/intestinal protection & controlled release;
Interaction between nanocarriers and biological barriers (eg. mucodiffusion and mucoadhesion, permeation enhancers, etc.).
Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems
Field of research codes
Biochemistry and Cell Biology (060100): Biological Sciences (060000):
Engineering (090000): Food Sciences (090800):
Medical And Health Sciences (110000):
Nanobiotechnology (100703): Nanomedicine (100709): Nanotechnology (100700):
Pharmaceutical Sciences (111504): Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences (111500):
Delivery systems; Controlled release; Gastric-Intestinal protection; Food Colloids; Food Ingredient Functionality; Biomaterial; Nanomedicine; Pharmacokinatics; Pharmacodynamics.