Formulation and drug delivery

Innovating medicine delivery technologies to address unmet needs

The Laboratory for Formulation and Drug Delivery engages in multidisciplinary research to design, fabricate, evaluate and translate innovative delivery platforms to optimise drug delivery and therapeutic outcomes for patients.

Our current research aims to address unmet medicinal needs in paediatric and cancer patients, and in the aquaculture industry. Preclinical, stability and clinical evaluations are conducted collaboratively with medical practitioners, clinical pharmacists, manufacturing pharmacists, animal scientists, pharmacokineticists and biostatisticians in Western Australia.

The laboratory also collaborates with international colleagues to design complex nanotechnology-enabled delivery platforms to better target potent drugs to tumour and dysfunctional kidney sites to improve drug delivery efficiency, drug safety and treatment outcomes for patients.

The research in our laboratory has three main arms: paediatric medicines, taste-masked medicines, and nanotechnology-enabled medicines.

Current projects

Paediatric medicines

Professor Lim’s laboratory innovates child-friendly medicines to achieve medicine compliance and therapeutic outcomes in young children. An example is the patented chocolate-based delivery platform (CDS). The CDS is a small, palatable and chewable tablet with ingredients that work in synergy to mask the taste of highly bitter medicines. It is formulated as a scored tablet to provide convenient, accurate and tailorable dosing; older children can take multiple tablets, while younger children can have combinations of whole, half and quarter tablets. For very young children who must have liquid medicines, the CDS can be melted by mixing with water. The tablet does not require cold-chain transport and storage, making it accessible to patients living in regional, remote and tropical areas.

A CDS midazolam tablet has been successfully developed and trialled in children, with potential applications as premedication for surgical, dental and podiatry procedures. A CDS tramadol tablet has also been developed and is being evaluated for acceptance and pain control in children.

Two PhD projects are currently available for the development and evaluation of CDS anti-infective tablets. Contact Professor Lim for further information.

Taste-masked medicines

Professor Lim’s laboratory collaborates with other researchers to innovate delivery platforms to taste mask medicines for dental and veterinary applications. One PhD project is available to develop and evaluate palatable anti-parasitic medicines for the aquaculture industry in Australia. Contact Professor Lim for further information.

Nanotechnology-enabled medicines

Professor Lim has worked in this area for many years and has an international reputation in innovating nanotechnology-enabling drug delivery platforms. She has collaborated with researchers in Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to fabricate platforms to target medicines specifically to diseased organs. Current collaborations aim to deliver anti-cancer medicines to tumours and anti-inflammatory medicines to dysfunctional kidneys to improve drug safety, enhance drug bioavailability and allow for simultaneous synergistic dual drug action.

There is an ongoing PhD project to innovate strategies to optimise a fragile protein drug for tympanic membrane repair. Contact Professor Lim for further information.


Paediatric medicines

Professor Lim works with a multidisciplinary team to design, fabricate and test the paediatric medicines. This team includes:

  • doctors, nurses and pharmacists from Perth Children Hospital (Britta Regli von Ungern-Sternberg, Kristina Rueter, David Sommerfield, Asha Bowen, Lliana Slevin, Christopher Hopps)
  • a clinical pharmacologist (Sam Salman)
  • a biostatistician (Nazim Khan)
  • and formulation scientists (Laurence Cheung from Curtin University, and Edith Tang and Minh Nguyen from UWA)

Taste-masked medicines

Professor Lim collaborates with Gavin Partridge (Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research at Challenger Institute of Technology, and Centre of Excellence for Science, Seafood and Health at Curtin University) to develop taste-masked medicines for the aquaculture industry.

Nanotechnology-enabled medicines

Professor Lim collaborates with the following people to develop and evaluate nanotechnology-enabled medicines:

  • Jingxin Mo (Deputy Director of Medical Research Centre, First Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University, China)
  • Zhi-xiang Yuan (Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health, Sichuan Agricultural University, China)
  • Tin Wui Wong (Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor, Malaysia)

Contact Professor Lee Yong Lim