A modular device for vaginal administration of multiple therapeutic agents

  • Vicky-Leigh Young

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


In this project, the aim is to develop a new multipurpose prevention technology (MPT) platform to help address the global health burdens associated with sexually transmitted infections (e.g. HIV-1, HSV-2, HPV) and unmet need for contraception, which disproportionately affect young women in low and middle-income countries. The new MPT product concept is based around an innovative vaginal ring in which drug-containing cores are physically inserted into and retained within a ring-shaped frame using ‘interference fits’. Compared to more conventional vaginal ring designs, this vaginal ring technology platform offers ease of fabrication of complex devices containing multiple drugs and multiple materials and can offer different kinetics and mechanisms of drug release within the same device. Various model drugs will be used to demonstrate the concept: MIV-150 is an experimental antiretroviral drug owned by Population Council, New York; Nestorone (NES) is a contraceptive progestin; metronidazole (MET) is an antibiotic commonly used to treat bacterial vaginosis; and lactic acid (LA) and its cyclic dimer form lactide (LT) can maintain protective vaginal pH and provide an anti-inflammatory effect. Cores containing these drugs will be prepared using a thermosetting silicone elastomer material and tested for in vitro drug release. By applying a modular construction approach based around a common architecture, this device may allow healthcare professionals to select the appropriate combination of therapies to suits women's circumstances and family planning aspirations.
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsThe Population Council, Inc. & Northern Ireland Department for the Economy
SupervisorKarl Malcolm (Supervisor) & Peter Boyd (Supervisor)


  • Multipurpose prevention technology
  • vaginal ring
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • contraception
  • Nestorone
  • MIV-150
  • metronidazole
  • bacterial vaginosis

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