Dr Keng Wooi Ng
Lecturer in Pharmaceutics
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 2343
- Address: School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medical Sciences
King George VI Building
Queen Victoria Road
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Keng gained both his MPharm and PhD in drug delivery from Cardiff University. He undertook postdoctoral training at Imperial College London and University of Reading.
Prior to joining Newcastle University in October 2017, he taught pharmaceutical sciences at University of Brighton, where he also led a research team developing innovative technologies for drug delivery and disease detection in the skin.
Keng's research focuses on the development of novel technologies for drug delivery and rapid disease diagnosis in the skin.
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Minimally invasive disease detection via the skin
Keng's research team has developed 'microneedle' (i.e. microscopic needle) devices that can recognise biomarkers in the skin. The devices are designed to make skin disease diagnosis more rapid and reliable but less invasive than conventional methods. Each device carries an array of microneedles that can be inserted into the skin to extract and analyse biomarkers from various skin depths, with minimal discomfort to the user. Multiple biomarkers can be analysed simultaneously to increase the speed and reliability of the test. The technique may replace invasive skin biopsies as a way to analyse skin biomarkers. It is rapid (analysis takes only a few hours), specific, highly sensitive (it can detect protein markers at 10-8 mg/mL, or close to a trillionth of a gram per millilitre of fluid), inexpensive and requires no specialist equipment to operate. The current goal is to perfect the device as an accessible, rapid and accurate point-of-care diagnostic technology for a range of skin diseases, such as skin cancer.
Enhanced gene and drug delivery via the skin
Traditionally, dermal drug delivery has been severely hindered by the barrier properties of the skin. Keng's work on dermal drug delivery aims to widen the scope of drugs deliverable via the skin, by focusing on two approaches: physical and chemical penetration enhancement. For example, genes and large proteins, which otherwise do not get past the skin barrier, can be delivered successfully into the skin using microneedles. On the other hand, chemical penetration enhancers such as alcohols, fatty acids and terpenes can be added to dermal products to markedly enhance drug absorption. An area of specific interest is in understanding the mechanisms of action of these penetration enhancement techniques and identify synergistic interactions to inform formulation design.
Keng's research benefits from facilities in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, including state-of-the-art dermal permeation analysis, thermal analysis (DMA, TGA, DSC), spectroscopy (FTIR/NIR, UV/Vis), particle analysis and imaging equipment located within the School of Pharmacy.
TeachingI teach pharmaceutical sciences on the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) programme. Topics covered include dosage form design and pharmaceutical manufacturing. These are delivered in a way that integrates scientific principles with the practice of pharmacy.
- Lau WM, Ng KW. Finite and infinite dosing. In: Dragicevic, N; Maibach, HI, ed. Percutaneous Penetration Enhancers Drug Penetration Into/Through the Skin. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2017, pp.35-44.
- Correia GD, Ng KW, Wijeyesekera A, Gala-Peralta S, Williams R, MacCarthy-Morrogh S, Jiménez B, Inwald D, Macrae D, Frost G, Holmes E, Pathan N. Metabolic profiling of children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease. Critical Care Medicine 2015, 43(7), 1467-1476.
- Ng KW, Lau WM. Skin deep: the basics of human skin structure and drug penetration. In: Dragicevic, N; Maibach, H, ed. Percutaneous Penetration Enhancers Chemical Methods in Penetration Enhancement. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, pp.3-11.
- Ng KW, Lau WM, Williams AC. Synergy between chemical penetration enhancers. In: Dragicevic, N; Maibach, H, ed. Percutaneous Penetration Enhancers Chemical Methods in Penetration Enhancement. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, pp.373-385.
- Ng KW, Lau WM, Williams AC. Towards pain-free diagnosis of skin diseases through multiplexed microneedles: biomarker extraction and detection using a highly sensitive blotting method. Drug Delivery and Translational Research 2015, 5(4), 387–396.
- Ng KW, Allen ML, Desai A, Macrae D, Pathan N. Cardioprotective effects of insulin: how intensive insulin therapy may benefit cardiac surgery patients. Circulation 2012, 125(5), 721-728.
- Lau WM, Ng KW, Sakenyte K, Heard CM. Distribution of esterase activity in porcine ear skin, and the effects of freezing and heat separation. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 2012, 433(1-2), 10-15.
- Ng KW, Greco M, Allen M, Desai A, Macrae D, Bacon S, Gevers E, Inwald D, Pathan N. Immune dysregulation in children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease is marked by altered antigen-sensing capability. Critical Care Medicine 2011, 39(12), 36.
- Pathan N, Burmester M, Adamovic T, Berk M, Ng KW, Betts H, Macrae D, Waddell S, Paul-Clark M, Nuamah R, Mein C, Levin M, Montana G, Mitchell JA. Intestinal injury and endotoxemia in children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2011, 184(11).
- Lau WM, Ng KW, White AW, Heard CM. Therapeutic and cytotoxic effects of the novel antipsoriasis codrug, naproxyl-dithranol, on HaCaT cells. Molecular Pharmaceutics 2011, 8(6), 2398–2407.
- Ng KW, Pearton M, Allender CJ, Morrissey A, McLoughlin P, Birchall JC. Biodegradable microneedles for intra-epidermal vaccination. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2010, 62(6), 798.
- Ng KW, Pearton M, Coulman S, Anstey A, Gateley C, Morrissey A, Allender C, Birchall J. Development of an ex vivo human skin model for intradermal vaccination: Tissue viability and Langerhans cell behaviour. Vaccine 2009, 27(43), 5948-5955.
- Ng KW, Pearton M, Coulman S, Anstey AV, Gateley C, Morrissey A, Allender CJ, Birchall JC. Ex vivo immunological studies using excised human skin. British Journal Of Dermatology 2009, 160(4), 921.
- Ng KW, Pearton M, Coulman S, Anstey A, Gateley C, Morrissey A, O'Mahony C, Allender C, Birchall J. Tissue viability and Langerhans cell behaviour in an ex-vivo human skin model for cutaneous DNA vaccination. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2009, 61, A2-A3.
- Khan A, Benboubetra M, Sayyed PZ, Ng KW, Fox S, Beck G, Benter IF, Akhtar S. Sustained polymeric delivery of gene silencing antisense ODNs, siRNA, DNAzymes and ribozymes: in vitro and in vivo studies. Journal of Drug Targeting 2004, 12(6), 393-404.