Laboratory for Drug Delivery and Biomaterials

University of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario
What the facility does

Pharmaceutical sciences, materials science, and engineering

Area(s) of Expertise

Our laboratory is focused on the development and characterization of nanoparticles, medical devices and biomaterials for drug delivery applications. Our technology platforms are designed to be customizable to enhance drug solubility, targeted delivery, and improved therapeutic efficacy. We have the experience and knowledge to develop pharmaceutical formulations for small molecule drugs, proteins/peptides, and nucleic acids. We also have the infrastructure to provide in vitro and in vivo characterization, e.g. physico-chemical drug properties, tissue biocompatibility, and imaging. 

Research Services

Fabrication of pharmaceutical formulations (nanoparticles/biodegradable gels/films/solid dosage forms), pharmaceutical formulations for difficult-to-solubilize drugs, pharmaceutical formulations(fast-acting/sustained drug release/stimuli-responsive/targeted drug delivery), pharmaceutical formulations (intravenous/subcutaneous/intramuscular/intraperitoneal/transdermal/ oral/intravaginal/rectal delivery), in vitro 
characterization of pharmaceutical formulations (particle size/molecular weight/stability/drug release rates/cell toxicity studies), in vivo characterization of pharmaceutical formulations (rodent and rabbit models/tissue biocompatibility/ pharmacokinetics studies/pharmacodynamics studies/rodent cancer models).

Sectors of Application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Consumer durables
  • Consumer non-durables
  • Defence and security industries
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Utilities

Specialized lab



Biomaterial Fabrication and Characterization

Haake MiniLab II Micro Compounder

Brookhaven ZetaPALS particle sizer

Q800 Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer

Lyophilizer/freeze dry system

Environmental climate chamber

Hot-melt injection molder

SPEX Freezer/Mill 6770

  • Provide precisely controlled extrusion of high viscous polymer melts using only a small sample amount, e.g. 5 grams
  • Determine nanoparticle size and net surface charge
  • Characterization of biomaterials, such as  viscoelastic behavior of polymers, glass transition temperature
  • Lyophilization/freeze-drying of samples
  • Accelerated thermal stability studies and photostability studies according to ICH guidelines
  • Fabrication of polymer medical devices from pre-designed aluminum molds
  • Cryogenic grinding and pulverizing of tough and/or temperature-sensitive samples

Biologics Evaluation Facility

Pharmaceutical Analysis

Biological safety cabinet and tissue culture incubator

Nikon inverted fluorescent microscope ECLIPSE Ti with colour digital camera

QuantStudio 6 Flex Real-Time PCR Machine

Nexcelom Cellometer Auto 2000

Waters 2690 Alliance HPLC system

  • Performing in vitro cell studies, including cytotoxicity, cell targeting, and drug uptake
  • Imaging adherent and suspension cells using phase contrast or fluorescence.
  • 96-well plate quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction
  • Digital cell counter
  • For the quantitation of small molecule drugs and proteins/peptides



Rh Awards Recognizes Emerging and Established Researchers