An-Katrien Minnaert

An-Katrien Minnaert



Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Ottergemsesteenweg 460
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 264 80 47 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 83 65  (direct)
Fax: 0032 9 2648189



An-Katrien Minnaert obtained her Master Degree in Drug Development in 2017 with great distinction. She performed het master thesis ‘Nebulization as a potential application route for in vivo peritoneal administration of siRNA complexes’ in the Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy. In October 2017, she started her PhD in the same lab, focusing on the barrier role of the vitro-retinal interface toward intravitreal injected viruses, proteins and siRNA nanoparticles.

Research interests

Nanomedicines, siRNA, Ocular delivery (Intra-vitreal injection), vitreoretinal interface

Educational tasks

Assistant Practical Exercises Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy

Summary of research project

The aim of the project is to study the potential of nanoparticles (between 25 and 100 nm in size) containing nucleic acids to deliver their cargo to the inner retina upon intravitreal injection. In order to do so, we need to understand in detail the factors that influence the bioavailability of intravitreal injected formulations to the inner retina of the eye. Upon injection, formulations need to diffuse in the vitreous, cross the inner limiting membrane (ILM) and diffuse in the retinal cell layers. This research project will focus on each of these barriers with in house developed models of vitreal mobility and ILM penetration. Importantly, the obtained results will be compared with two commonly used formulations for intravitreal injection namely marketed anti-VEGF proteins or protein fragments (about 10 nm in size) and 'in-the-pipeline' adenoassociated viruses (AAVs, about 25 nm in size) currently tested in clinical trials. Taken together, we aim to answer the question whether or not delivery of nucleic acid containing nanoparticles to the inner retina has added value when compared to state of the art methods and which nanoparticles' and/or therapeutics' characteristics (such as size and charge) are most important to determine their success upon intravitreal injection.

Schema An-Katrien