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Drug Delivery


Admission requirements

Master students of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Life Science & Technology, Molecular Science & Technology. Basic knowledge in chemistry, pharmaceutical science, cell biology, immunology is required.


Part 1:
Nanomedicine is by definition the use of nanotechnology for medical applications. In the lecture I will provide a brief introduction to the area of nanomedicine with a focus on drug/gene delivery systems and in vivo diagnostic or theragnostic systems. The history of the field is discussed from the origins to clinical products. Moreover, materials and functional systems will be introduced and discussed ranging from polymeric micelles for drug delivery to protein polymer conjugates and mRNA formulations in the clinics. Besides, analytical methods are introduced and explained. Limitations and applications are highlighted allowing the participants to decide what methodology is applicable for a certain task. We will also discuss on-going clinical developments of nanomedicines and discuss some parameters for success or failure. The lecture includes a seminar, in which the participants prepare and present a brief talk (15-20min) based on a scientific publication related to the themes of the lecture. Afterwards, the individual presentations are critically discussed with the aim of interconnecting knowledge and

Part 2:
Vaccines are the most cost effective medical intervention and in some cases the only effective one, as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown. Vaccines are to a large extent responsible for almost complete elimination of infectious diseases like smallpox, polio, diphtheria and measles. Extensive research in other areas holds promise for therapeutic vaccines against cancer, Alzheimer and atherosclerosis. Vaccinology is a multidisciplinary area ranging from epidemiology and immunology to pharmaceutical sciences and process technology. In this course you will get an overview of the field. We will address, in the form of lectures, vaccine related immunology, delivery and characterization of vaccines. Case studies on SARS-Cov2 and polio vaccines will be presented. Apart from lectures, you will be actively involved by working on assignments in small groups. The results will be presented by you with the aim to discuss the possibilities and problems related to vaccine development.

Course objectives

At the end of this course the student is able to:

  • understand the basic principles of nanomedicines and nanoparticle characterization.

  • has an overview on the application areas and clinical developments of nanoparticles in diagnosis and therapy.

  • understand the different phases in vaccine development from lead finding and concept development to formulation and route of administration.

  • understand the differences and similarities between vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals.

  • to read and understand relevant scientific literature (both parts).

  • to judge the results presented in scientific literature critically and propose follow up experiments. (both parts).


This course is scheduled for semester 1, period 2.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, tutorials and self-tuition.

Assessment method

The course will be completed with a written exam (100% of the grade).

For each individual exam, the grade is expressed either with pass or fail, or by using a decimal integer between 1.0 and 10.0 that should be ≥ 5.5. The final grade is expressed using an integer between 1 and 10 and can be rounded off/up to a half integer, with the exception of the grade 5.5. Final grades between 5.50 and 5.99 will be rounded up to 6.0. The final grade should be 6.0 to successfully complete this course.

The time and manner of the inspection and of the feedback session on the examination are specified in the Brightspace module of the course.

Reading list

Will be announced during the course.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Matthias Barz
E-mail:; tel: +31 71 527 2727.


A maximum of 38 master students applies to this course. Placement is based on the registration date.

This information is without prejudice. Alterations can be made for next year.