Associate Professor Darren Svirskis

BHB, BPharm, PhD

Research | Current

My main research drive is the use of materials to communicate with and influence the body through microelectrode arrays and the intelligent delivery of drugs.

My team’s research has demonstrated the ability of conducting polymer coatings to improve the performance of sensing and stimulating bio-electrodes.

I have developed expertise in releasing different drugs in a controlled fashion from a range of injectable and implantable platforms.

My translational and multidisciplinary research aims to address currently unmet health demands. The technologies my team design and test can be used in implantable medical devices to answer fundamental research questions and to treat injury and disease.

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD Candidates - Principle supervisor

Mahima Bansal - A glutamate delivery system for neural stimulation

Anusha Dravid - Nerve growth factor stimulation to promote outgrowth in lower motor neurons (with Simon O'Carroll) 

Ernest Cheah - The development of sustained and tuneable drug delivery systems for neurotrophic growth factors

Current PhD Candidates - Co-supervisor

Wiremu McFater - Perioperative lidocaine (with Professor Andrew Hill)

Joy Reginald-Opara - Development of a novel drug delivery system for targeted brain delivery in neurodegenerative diseases (with Associate Professor Zimei Wu)

Qing Xu - Pressure sensing PEDOT to improve ocular health (with Dr Duleepa Thrimawithana)

Patrick Pan - On-demand release from liposomes (with Associate Professor Zimei Wu)

Hani Abdeltawab – Development and evaluation of bupivacaine loaded injectable composite in-situ gel formulation for postoperative pain management following arthroplasty (with Dr Manisha Sharma)

Barbara Angoro – Developing an electrochemical technique for measuring free unbound iron in the human blood plasma (with Dr Manisha Sharma)

Wes Xia - Investigating Post-Operative Pain following Haemorrhoidectomy (with Professor Andrew Hill)

James Jin - The role of targeted multi-modal analgesia in on pain pathways following haemorrhoidectomy (with Professor Andrew Hill)

Marvin Liu - Improving Thymopentin Stability using PEGylated Nanoparticulate Drug Delivery Systems (with Associate Professor Jingyuan Wen)

Matthew Horrocks - Development of Novel Block Co-polymer Interfaces for Force Modulated Delivery of Growth Factors to Stem Cells (with Dr Jenny Malmstrom)

Completed PhDs (primary supervisor)

Dr Prabhat Bhusal - Development of a recoverable controlled release polymeric implant for use following abdominal surgery

Dr Dedeepya Uppalapati - Liquid crystalline templated conducting polymer structures

Dr Zaid Aqrawe - Conducting polymer / neuronal communication

Completed PhDs (co-supervisor)

Dr Marvin Tang - Co-delivery of gemcitabine and dCK DNA to overcome resistance to gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer (with Associate Professor Zimei Wu)

Dr Travis Badenhorst - Dermal and cellular delivery of an endogenous peptide (with Dr Zimei Wu)

Dr Shawn (Guanyu) Chen - Development of a novel drug delivery system to enhance the oral bioavailability of Gemcitabine for the treatment of cancer (with Dr Jingyuan Wen)

Dr Emma Kang - Cancer drug delivery systems and nano-carriers for drug targeting (with Dr Zimei Wu)

Dr M. Naveed Yasin - Conducting polymer implant for on-demand ocular drug delivery (with Dr Ilva Rupenthal)


Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellow


Current Research Fellows

Dr Brad Raos (

Dr Bruce Harland (


Previous Research Fellows

Dr Priyanka Agarwal (

Dr Ali Seyfoddin (

Dr Manisha Sharma (


Postgraduate course coordination

Pharmacy 751: Pharmaceutical Techniques

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 503 - Bldg 503
Level 3, Room 301D
New Zealand

Web links