Pharmaceutical Science Laboratories

The pharmaceutical science laboratories provide state-of-the-art equipment for the preparation of various conventional solid and liquid dosage forms

A student using the Pharmaceutical Science Laboratories

 In order to facilitate students’ learning and to give research personnel access to appropriate equipment, the pharmaceutical science laboratories provide state-of-the-art equipment for the preparation of various conventional solid and liquid dosage forms; including tablets, capsules, suspensions, emulsions, creams and gels. These instruments are not only used for teaching to help facilitate students’ learning in applying their knowledge to various pharmaceutical applications, but they are of great importance for research too. For example, the availability of the coating equipment and hotmelt extruder within the School also enable the production of more sophisticated design of dosage forms with tailored drug release profiles. The laboratories also contain a 3D printer that allows accurate layer-by-layer design for various pharmaceutical preparations. In addition, the preparation and characterisation of the raw materials and the final products is also performed using a range of equipment, such as the flowability tester, tapped density tester, powder mixer, granulator, friability tester, tablet hardness tester, disintegration and dissolution testers (USP-2 and USP4), spray dryer and freeze dryer, which are all frequently used by students and research personnel for the manufacturing of solid dosage forms. Moreover, analytical equipment is also available which is essential for understanding the physicochemical properties, the state of materials, purity and stability of the aforementioned preparations, including DSC (conventional DSC and nanoDSC) , TGA, tensiometer, refractometer, rheometer, FTIR, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, nephelometer, HPLC, flash chromatography, NMR, LC-MS, XRD and GPC etc.

Indeed, the aforementioned facilities help support the process of drug discovery to formulation development at UCLan. We have synthetic capabilities, drug design expertise, including molecular modelling, and formulation design within our research group. With advances on nanotechnology, nanomedicine is a popular research area that is well-established at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and indeed across the University. We have specialist advanced equipment and expertise on lipidic and polymeric nanoparticulate drug delivery systems for applications, not exclusive in, but namely pulmonary, nasal and transdermal delivery. For example, the development of sprays and aerosols is assisted by our Spraytec laser diffraction system, where the spray particle and droplet size distributions of the preparations can be measured and optimised, whilst the twin impinger is a very useful tool for the study of aerosols discharge from inhalational devices. Drug permeation through the skin from conventional and nano-sized samples can be investigated using the Franz diffusion model on porcine skin. Therefore, the quality and stability of the prepared products can be tested and analysed effectively using these equipment.

Routine use of the nanosizing equipment such as the homogeniser, sonicating probe, NanoDeBee and Planetary Ball Mill PM 100 allow both small and large scale production of nanosized colloidal preparations such as suspensions and emulsions, for oral as well as parenteral applications. Subsequent characterisation on the size and charge of the particles can be carried out using Malvern DLS Zeta sizer as well as the Master sizer 2000 Hydro 2000SM for use with larger particle size samples. With the aid of these instruments, the laboratories have the capacity for researchers to develop various formulations and drug delivery systems with potential biomedical exploitations.

A student using the Pharmaceutical Science Labs

Tabletting machine - Single punch machine Minipress MII

Coating machine Mini-coater GEA pharma systems

A student using the Pharmaceutical Science Labs

Students using the Pharmaceutical Science labs

Capsule filler In-cap


Practice Suite

This custom built area is used for small-group, problem-based learning with typical classes of 48 students working in groups of six-eight. The facility is also used for dispensing classes, utilising the counselling areas and PCs installed with pharmacy dispensing software. Furthermore, the General Pharmaceutical Council has complimented the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences on its style of teaching within this area which ties in with best practice principles.

Aseptic Suite

Aseptic Suite

The School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences has a purpose built aseptic facility linked to our fully equipped microbiology and histology laboratories. This facility allows students to develop the skills required for microbiological and aseptic work using video capture to allow feedback on skills development.

Key equipment available

  • Single-punch tablet press
  • Capsule filler
  • Flowability tester
  • Powder mixer (planetary / cube)
  • Granulator
  • Coater
  • Friability tester
  • Tapped density tester
  • Tablet hardness tester
  • Disintegration tester
  • Dissolution tester (USP-2 and USP-4)
  • IKA homogeniser
  • Probe sonicator
  • 3D printer
  • DSC and nanoDSC
  • TGA
  • Tensiometer
  • Refractometer
  • Polarimeter
  • Rheometer
  • FTIR
  • UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
  • Nephelometer
  • HPLC
  • Flash Chromatography
  • GPC
  • Liposome extruder
  • Spray dryer
  • Freeze dryer
  • NanoDeBee
  • Planetary Ball Mill PM 100
  • Spraytec laser diffraction system
  • Twin impinger
  • Franz diffusion cells
  • Malvern DLS Zeta sizer
  • Master sizer 2000 Hydro 2000SM

Contact staff

Terri Blohm | Senior Technician
+44 (0)1772 89 3505 | Maudland Building MB114

Talhat Akhtar | Technician
+44 (0)1772 89 4594 | Maudland Building MB114

Patric Cookson | Senior Technician
+44 (0)1772 89 3734 | Maudland Building MB114


Maudland Building, MB215 MB226 MB228 MB244 MB248 MB 249

Opening Times, Guides and Charges

Official workshop hours are: 9:30 to 12.30 and 13.30 to 16:30 (in practice technicians are often available outside of these times)

Industry Support (IGA work)