Novel Drug Delivery system
Novel Drug Delivery Systems Department

The research activities on novel drug delivery systems here in Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute (IPPI) began concurrently with the opening of IPPI in 1986, focusing mostly on microencapsulation also transdermal drug delivery systems. With the aim of strengthening its research works, however, NDDS department was officially formed in September 2000 under the division of Polymer Science Faculty. The research studies undertaken by NDDS Dept. with the objective of industrial application are categorized in 4 sets of works, and it is offered new products in the pharmaceutical market as well as enrichment of its academic practices and cooperations.




Research Areas

  • Silicone-based Delivery Systems
  • Transdermal and Mucousal Delivery Systems
  • Biodegradable Delivery Systems
  • Specialties (Polymer and Drugs) Synthesis

Silicone-based Delivery Systems

The research studies on progesterone release from silicon substrate for veterinary applications were the early works in this department which led to an industrial scale success. Using this product in industrial veterinary medicine, there is a high rate of value added profits resulted from estrus cycle synchronization in cattle and sheep herds.

The optimization of silicon coating on cochlear implant electrodes to release anti-inflammatory drugs has been another challenging endeavor this department has carried out. This new device has effective roles in reducing the rate of failure in cochlear implantation surgery by prevention of post-surgical inflammation.


Formulation, optimization and semi-industrial scale production progesterone releasing intravaginal devices.

Design, formulation and evaluation of cochlear implant coating for the release of corticosteroids.


Transdermal and Mucosal Delivery Systems

In spite of high value of transdermal and mucosal devices in world market and the past attempts on national level to acquire the technical know-how for the production of these systems, the first coherent and far reaching targets were adopted at this department in the year 2000 to make use of drug in adhesive technology to produce estradiol transdermal patches. Since then the two cosmetic patches (to cure acne and wrinkles) have been added on the list of our activities also fentanil transdermal drug delivery system. The pilot production of these formulations started in 2005 and after acquiring the necessary equipments also the regulatory approvals from the Ministry of Health and Medical Education the above production was legally endorsed on 22 October 2006.

       Formulation of oral mucoadhesives such as desmopresin mucoadhesive is another undertaking which has started at this department. The lines of works are as follows:

  • To acquire the technical know-how for the production of a 3.5 day Estradiol patch.
  • To develop and design anti-wrinkle and anti-acne know-how technologies on laboratory scale leading to their ultimate full production at IPPI.
  • To study the effect of variations in formulation designs of silicon/acrylic contact adhesive blends in fentanil transdermal devices.
  • To prepare desmopresin oral device with biocompatible polymers.
  • To prepare Chitosan-based mucoadhesive products for treatment of aphtous lesions.

Biodegradable Drug Delivery Systems

Parallel to the field of biotechnology development and production of new peptides and protein drugs the application of particulate drug delivery devices including microparticles and recently nanoparticles have made unprecedented progress in the twenty first century. The department’s production in this area included the pregnancy prevention by biodegradable microspheres also biodegradable implant devices for one-month and three-month controlled release formulations of leuprolide acetate to cure prostate cancer   also endometriosis were designed and further works are underway to expand research results into real application by patients.


Now this department is considered as one of the most nationally distinguished active centers on the production and characterization of nanoparticles. In this regard many new formulations are to be undertaken on several veterinary applications such as foot-and-mouth disease which is the successful outcomes of NDDS department hard working activities. The following working programs have been accomplished up to date:

  • Formulation of biodegradable contraceptive microspheres via spray drying.
  • Formulation and evaluation of biodegradable nanoparticles containing antigens of foot-and-mouth disease virus.
  • In situ-forming implant formulation sfor controlled release of leuprolide acetate.
  • Biodegradable implants to deliver narcotic antagonists in addiction treatment.
  • Biodegradable implants to deliver Betamethasone as anti-inflammatory agent.

Specialties (Polymers and Drugs) Synthesis

In this area, we aim to synthesize polymers with special applications in drug delivery, which are not available in the market either due to be economically infeasible in large scale production or their sophisticated production technology or not yet synthesized. In this case synthesizing polymers with the aim of creating high rate of value-added products and their application feasibilities are studied as well.

 The first attempt was comprised of producing biodegradable unsaturated polyesters which was led to many possible biological applications such as drug releasing bone cements and grafts.

 The latest attempts are around the synthesis of polymeric reagents with specific pharmaceutical applications.

  • Synthesis and characterization of polyethylene glycol-fumarate hydrogels as injectable in situ forming drug delivery systems.
  • Injectable and biodegradable drug delivery devices for cancer treatment based on polycaprolactone and fumaric acid.
  • Controlled drug delivery devices based on inorganic-organic nanocomposite for prevention of hard tissue damages.

Quality Control

The professional pharmaceutical industry is among the most law abiding industries in the world, as it owes its successes and expansions to the enormous share of vigilencies in increasing the quality of human lives. To observe ultimate security with highest productivity are its tactical means to facilitate the highest quality products by implementing the methodologies and analytical techniques to assure repeatability, specificities also the highest sensitivities.

Quality control regulations in industry, academic research works and research and development divisions are inseparable from designing stages of a new pharmaceutical product. These policies account for the special importance this department gives to quality control aspects of research works. A major part of human resources are devoted as well as the material and equipment facilities are being allocated to guarantee products being obtained with best quality.



The Department of Novel Drug Delivery Systems in addition to have access to all the equipments available in the Central Laboratories at IPPI itself is well equipped with various workshops allocated in 4 laboratories.: Formulation; Synthesis; Patch and Quality Control; and two workshops for production of dermal and transdermal patches and silicone-based devices by liquid injection molding.