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Ian TuckerProfessor Ian Tucker


My general research area is in formulation and delivery of bioactives for human and veterinary applications. This can be divided into two broad areas: research on delivery systems for optimal delivery of bioactives (drugs); research on absorption processes in order to achieve optimal delivery of bioactives to target organs/cells.

Research Focus

Current research on delivery systems is focussed on sustained release polymer matrix tablets. We are trying to understand the mechanisms involved in the coalescence of polymer particles in such tablets and how this leads to sustained release properties. The aim is to understand how the physico-chemical properties of drug, excipients and polymer affect the formation of stable polymer matrices in order to design tablets with predictable and stable release profiles. Other delivery systems include: nanosystems including bilosomes and polymeric nanoparticles decorated with cell penetrating peptides; oil-based systems for intramuscular injection. Techniques used include: release studies, kinetic studies, thermal analytical methods, particle sizing (PCS, laser diffraction), electron microscopy, helium pycnometry, texture analysis, analytical methods particularly HPLC, factorial-designed studies and statistical analysis, regression methods for modelling release data. 

The research on absorption processes is trying to understand how bioactives cross biological membranes, the role of transporters, stereoselectivity of transporters, how bile salts affect permeation through effects on membrane fluidity and transporter function. We have been concentrating on the blood brain barrier but given our active research programme on mastitis in dairy cattle, we are also interested in the blood-milk barrier. Techniques used include: cell culture studies, electron miscroscopy, in vivo studies including microdialysis, analytical methods (LCMS, radiotracer). 

Research Website



P: +64 3 4797296

Key Publications

  • Krajacic, A., Tucker, I.G. Matrix formation in sustained release tablets: possible mechanism of dose dumping. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 251: 67-78 (2003) 
  • Chatterjee, L., Rades, T., and Tucker, I.G.  Mechanical properties of excipients do not affect polymer matrix formation . International Journal of Pharmaceutics  384:  87-92  (2010). 
  • Wu, Z., Tucker, I.G., Razzak, M., Lin, Y., McSporran, K. and Medlicott, N.J. Absorption and tissue tolerance of ricobendazole in the presence of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin following subcutaneous injection in sheep. International Journal of Pharmaceutics  397:  96-102  (2010). 
  • Yang, L., Zhang, H., Mikov, M., and Tucker I.G. Physicochemical and Biological Characterization of Monoketocholic Acid, a Novel Permeability Enhancer. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 6 (2), 448-456 (2009)
  • Chen, G., Fawcett, J. P., Mikov., and Tucker, I.G. Monoketocholate can decrease Transcellular Permeation of Methotrexate across Caco-2 Cell Monolayers and reduce its Intestinal Absorption in Rat. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 61, 953-959 (2009)

Other Publications

Ian Tucker on PubMed