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.

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

10 Years Of Partnership with Biopharma Technology


This year Linkam are celebrating 10 years of successful partnership with Biopharma Technology Limited in supplying freeze-drying solutions to the pharmaceutical industry.

Founded in 1997, Biopharma Technology Limited (BTL) develop freeze drying solutions to multiple materials in the world of pharmaceuticals. For those of us who are not so familiar with freeze drying, or ‘lyophilisation’ as it is also known, it is a method of processing a liquid product into a dry solid product.

Early days at BTL saw homemade instrumentation based on ideas originating at Porton Down, but in 2001 Director of Research at BTL, Dr Kevin Ward, came across Linkam and our range of temperature controlled stages. 

The two companies went on to develop a number of instruments, the latest being the Lyostat 3 freeze drying microscope.  The Lyostat3 system uses polarized light microscopy to capture images of the sample’s structural changes as temperature increases, information that is vital for successful freeze drying.

The combination of BTL’s applications knowledge and Linkam’s instrumentation expertise brings a real added-value product to the freeze drying market place. For Linkam, it has been a real benefit being at the leading edge of an exciting and growing market.

Posted by Rosie Hider