The Drug Delivery Research Group

Drug delivery research group meeting room

The main objective of ‘Drug Delivery’ research is to safely and efficiently target drugs or bioactive compounds to their site of action through the process of pharmaceutical formulation, utilisation of new technologies and systems. Here in AUT, we are not only interested in optimising drug delivery to humans but also to animals and aquamarine species.

Most drugs and new bio-active molecules or agents such as probiotics, vaccines and pesticides are either insoluble or unstable which minimise their effectiveness. It is often necessary to incorporate these agents into biocompatible formulations that can protect them from degradation as well as making the delivery approach target specific, localised and more efficient. Novel drug delivery approaches usually result in enhanced therapeutic efficiency as well as reduced side effects and cost.

Currently, we work on a number of 3D printed, nano and microcapsule based drug delivery systems for human and veterinary applications. The choice of drug delivery system depends on many factors including: physicochemical properties of the drug or bio-actives, drug delivery environment, drug release timeline, scale-up costs and applications.


Prof. Andrea Alfaro from the School of Science is a Co-Principal Investigator on the successful Cawthron Institute led project titled "Optimising detection, diagnostic, prediction and management strategies for NZ aquaculture health”. This is a very significant grant worth $14,598,200 over the next five years.

Alaitz Etxabide has been awarded a PANTHER-Erasmus Mundus postdoctoral fellowship in “AUT Drug Delivery”. He will join our group in September 2017.

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