Freeze Drying

Freeze Drying Characterisation at the University of Iowa

Founded in 1905, the University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP) began when the Iowa College of Pharmacy started to dispense medications to the University’s Hospital, and since then has grown to be the largest and most experienced FDA affiliated pharmaceutical University in the USA. Since 1974 UIP has been producing cGMP compliant materials for client organisations. UIP’s very first client was the National Cancer Institute and now lists among its client’s government agencies, Centres for Disease Control, the WHO, the National Institutes of Health, and the FDA.   

At the UIP, Professor Lee Kirsch’s group is using integrated Lyostat 2 and Lyotherm 2 units to study formulation, collapse and melting of client formulations. The Lyostat 2 is a freeze-drying microscope which incorporates a Linkam FDCS196 stage, controller and liquid nitrogen cooling system. The Lyotherm 2 enables a scientist to achieve a more complete picture of events than conventional thermal analysis as it allows a scientist to perform two analyses at the same time, providing a Differential Thermal Analyser (DTA) and Electrical Impedance capability (Zsinϕ) in a single unit.


The Lyostat 2 system incorporating the Linkam cryo stage is used at UIP (University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals)

The combination of the Lyostat 2 and Lyotherm 2 instruments allows the team to investigate critical temperatures of client’s formulations efficiently and easily. This can significantly reduce the time in the lab required to establish these temperatures and so reduce the overall cost of formulation of a new drug, a benefit to both the pharmaceutical company and eventually the consumer. This also means new drugs may be able to be brought to the market quicker, improving the health care available for patients worldwide.

The unparalleled temperature control of the Linkam temperature stage has enabled a practical solution to a difficult problem in freeze drying formulations.

Some Christmas viewing... courtesy of SP Scientific and Linkam.

SP Scientific, a synergistic  group of four leading scientific equipment brands is hosting some free lyophilisation seminars.  As a company that strives for superior qulity and service: something very close to our hearts at Linkam we anticipate these seminars will be both entertaining and enlightening. As part of the audience you will have the opportunity to talk to leading scientists in the field and ask all your awkward questions.

Older seminars can be viewed in the archive while the next instalment is on the 24/1/12 at either 7am or 12 noon NY time.  In this one entitled “freeze-drying of human red blood cells” Dr Kevin Ward, PhD from Biopharma Technology Ltd, will be talking about blood preservation and refrigeration. This is a crucial topic as blood cells preserved by refrigeration only survive 35-42 days. Drying cells, so that they maintain both structure and the capacity to carry blood is a tough challenge. Past seminars have included a talk by our very good friend  Ruben J Nieblas from McCrone Microscopes on “'The practical application of freeze drying microscopy in product thermal characterisation'.

Ruben Nieblas

In January Dr Kevin Ward will be talking in detail about his findings and experiments and it is certainly going to be worth the wait, so book it in your diary and check out the prior webinars. I have certainly have...

Posted by Caroline Feltham


Preserving and protecting our great oceans...

Delegates being given a practical demonstraion of freeze-drying microscopy

With the conservation of marine life becoming more important as the degree of human impact on the oceans is becoming further apparent, scientists from all over the globe are working on educating the world on protecting the ocean and its inhabitants.

In February, delegates from as far afield as Korea converged at the Scottish Marine Institute for the “Conservation of marine micro-organisms training course” held under the auspices of the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences and the Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories (ASSEMBLE).

Organised by Dr. John Day (who runs the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa), the course was run over 2 days and included lectures on marine microbiology conservation and cryopreservation. One lecture in particular, on lyophilisation theory,  given by Dr Paul Matejtschuk (NIBSC-Health Protection Agency)  was supplemented by a practical demonstration of freeze-drying microscopy using our FDCS-196 Freeze drying cryo stage.

Delegates were impressed by the relative ease of use and power of resolution offered by the polarised light options which make this one of the most valuable tools in determining critical temperatures for vitrification, cryopreservation and freeze drying.

Many thanks to John, Paul and all the others for putting on extremely informative course and for all the hard work that they are putting in trying to educate people on the importance of marine conservation.

Posted by Ricky Patel

So What's Freeze Drying all About?

We may know how to build the best darn freeze drying microscope stages in the world, but when it comes down to analysing the results....well....we're just really good at designing and building the equipment.
We'll build it and then refer to the experts to help you analyse the results.  I'll let the folks from Biopharma Technology Ltd take it from here....


'Freeze drying is a complex science, requiring understanding and control of a number of different processes simultaneously. The difference between success and failure can be only a couple of degrees or a few minutes.  BTL believe that freeze drying should be approached rationally, and that in-depth understanding and scientific analysis can provide the answer to any processing problems. 

BTL have been providing thorough, practical training in freeze drying technology since 1997. These courses are designed to bring together the scientific theory with real-life examples and the practical knowledge from experts with many years of direct experience with industry. As well as gaining deep understanding of the science of freeze drying, delegates should leave the course with an understanding of how to apply this knowledge practically in their own work, to improve a product’s stability, gain better batch success rates, or improve plant efficiency. 

Courses are run regularly in the UK, Netherlands and US in a variety of formats to suit different practitioners – check out the website for more information.'