We provide comprehensive preclinical characterization of nanomedicine formulations. Our work encompasses physicochemical characterization as well as in vitro and in vivo immunological, pharmacological, and toxicological evaluations.

Exploring new strategies for nanotech drug development

The laboratory has characterized hundreds of distinct, if not unique, nanomedicine formulations and has experience with most nanotechnology platforms, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and other strategies being explored for nanotech drug development.

Knowledge base for nanotechnology investigators

Our laboratory serves as a resource and knowledge base for researchers to facilitate development and clinical translation of nanotechnologies intended as cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. For more information on the services and resources available, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory website.  

Elevating standards for the field

The Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory partners with ASTM International, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology IQ Working Group, part of the International Consortium for Innovation and Quality Development, to address the chemistry, manufacturing, and control challenges that industries face in characterizing, developing, and manufacturing nanotechnology products, among other items.

The Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory offers multiple collaboration mechanisms, depending on researcher needs, including a free characterization program, fee-based research and development collaborations, and select fee-for-service assays through the Technical Services program.  

The Assay Cascade is a free characterization program available to any researcher creating a nanoproduct for cancer. Accepted applicants will have their nanomedicine formulation characterized for physicochemical traits and immunological, pharmacological, and toxicological properties. 

We offer cCRADA collaborations, which are not restricted to oncology-based nanomedicines, organized by our Partnership Development Office. These collaborations leverage our expertise to conduct sponsor-funded research and development for applications that fall outside of the Assay Cascade constraints. These projects are open to all nanotech developers. All research and development projects must be fully funded by the submitting investigator.   

Email ncl@mail.nih.gov to discuss project needs. 

Scientist holding assay tray
Quarterly deadlines

Apply for NCL Assay Cascade

A free characterization program funded by the National Cancer Institute is available to any researcher creating a nanoproduct for cancer. Accepted applicants will have their nanomedicine formulation characterized for physiochemical traits and immunology and pharmacology and toxicology properties. Open to academic, industry, government and non-U.S. oncology developers. Apply year round; applications reviewed quarterly.
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Tracking trends and lessons learned for the nanotechnology community

Collaborators use Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory-generated data for regulatory filings, to garner venture capital for start-up companies, for presentations at scientific conferences, and for inclusion in publications. In many instances, Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory staff are invited as co-authors on these publications, dependent upon their contribution to the overall manuscript.

As a resource laboratory, Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory staff publish on trends, methodologies, and lessons learned.

Our capabilities and specializations

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Nanotechnology Research and Development Support

Our team supports a variety of R&D projects, open to all nanotech developers. Projects are fully funded by the submitting investigator. Contact us to discuss a potential project. 

Additional Content
  • Formulation, optimization, lead selection

  • Mechanistic studies

  • Characterization of non-oncological nanomaterials

  • Bioanalytical assay development

  • Instrument optimization

Scientist inserts samples into machine
Sarah Skoczen prepares bioanalytical samples for LC-MS/MS analysis.
Scientist works on a machine in a laboratory
Jie Xu measures total, internal, and external ions in a drug-loaded liposomal product using RP-HPLC coupled CAD detection.
Vial getting placed into a laboratory machine
Krishna Kattel, Ph.D., performs residual solvent analysis using headspace gas chromatography with FID detection.
Scientist works at a machine in a laboratory
Ruvanthi Kularatne, Ph.D., prepares mRNA lipid nanoparticles using a NanoAssemblr® Ignite™.
Scientist works in the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory
Dr. Krishna Kattel, Ph.D., performs a residual solvent analysis using headspace gas chromatography with FID detection.