Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Drug Delivery & Discovery

Drug Delivery & Discovery
Second semester
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish

Teaching staff

Please send an email to set up a meeting

María García: mgarciad@uic.es

Alba Herrero: aherrerog@uic.es 


The Drug Delivery & Discovery course focuses on the search for new strategies for drug administration. By using vehicles designed for an easier and adequate release, their therapeutic action will be much more effective and will be carried out in a more intelligent way compared to other traditional methods. Following the drug development process, the course will have a first block focused on the search for drugs and understand the different existing drugs and their properties. In a second block, the strategies traditionally followed will be addressed and how the use of biomaterials has favored the discovery of new techniques for drug release much more intelligently

Pre-course requirements

The student must have successfully passed the Cellular and Molecular Biology (1st semester) and Biomaterials and Biocompatibility subject (2nd semester).  It is recommended to have knowledge of Pharmacology (5th semester)


  • Explain to the student the knowledge of the process of discovery of new drugs and their phases of development prior to their commercialization
  • That the student has the basic knowledge of the different types of drugs, as well as their properties and methods of action
  • That the student understands the different drug release strategies using biomaterials
  • That the student has a first contact with the necessary tools for the discovery of new drugs and presentation of practical cases through a poster presentation


  • CB1 - Students must demonstrate that they have and understand knowledge in an area of study based on general secondary education. This knowledge should be of a level that, although based on advanced textbooks, also includes some of the cutting-edge elements from their field of study.
  • CB2 - Students must know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and have the competences that are demonstrated through the creation and defence of arguments and the resolution of problems within their field of study.
  • CB3 - Students must have the ability to bring together and interpret significant data (normally within their area of study) and to issue judgements that include a reflection on important issues that are social, scientific or ethical in nature.
  • CB4 - Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • CE17 - To be able to identify the engineering concepts that can be applied in the fields of biology and health.
  • CE19 - To know how to select and apply material based on its properties and electric, magnetic, mechanical and chemical behaviour
  • CE21 - The ability to understand and apply biotechnological methodologies and tools to research, as well as to the development and production of products and services.
  • CE6 - To incorporate the foundations of science and materials technology, while taking into account the relationship between microstructure, synthesis or process and the properties of materials.
  • CG10 - To know how to work in a multilingual and multidisciplinary environment.
  • CG3 - To be able to learn new methods and theories and be versatile so as to adapt to new situations.
  • CG4 - To resolve problems based on initiative, be good at decision-making, creativity, critical reasoning and communication, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills and prowess in the field of Bioengineering
  • CG7 - To analyse and evaluate the social and environmental impact of technical solutions
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.
  • CT5 - To use information sources in a reliable manner. To manage the acquisition, structuring, analysis and visualisation of data and information in your specialist area and critically evaluate the results of this management.
  • CT6 - To detect gaps in your own knowledge and overcome this through critical reflection and choosing better actions to broaden your knowledge.
  • CT7 - To be fluent in a third language, usually English, with a suitable verbal and written level that is in line with graduate requirements.

Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of the drug development process
  • Knowledge of the main drugs, forms of administration and release and their action properties
  • Knowledge of intelligent drug release strategies with the use of biomaterials.
  • Be able to design using the tools for drug design
  • Be able to work on a related topic, display it on a poster and know how to defend it


  1. Principles of drug discovery

  2. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

  3. Drug administration routes

  4. Drug encapsulation and release strategies

  5. Biomaterials for drug delivery

  6. Medical devices

  7. Practical case biomaterial-drug

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The course will be divided into theoretical classes and practical cases for the design of drugs and the development of a poster, which students will learn how to define, design and present to defend it. In some cases, evaluable activities may be carried out during the sessions that cannot be recovered outside of that period.

Eventually, the teacher could use the Moodle platform that could include various resources, such as forms, exercises, multimedia material ... that the student must perform to complete the subject. 

Els treballs lliurats fora de temps només podran obtenir una màxima qualificació de 5 punts sobre 10, excepte aquells que només podran realitzar-se durant la sessió.

Classes will be taught in English. The teaching material will be presented mainly in English, with some exceptions (graphs, tables ...)

The list of ECTS credits and the workload in learning hours depending on the different methodologies that will be used. Each ECTS theoretical credit has 10 hours in which the teacher has a presence in the classroom. The rest of the hours up to 25 correspond to the load of directed and autonomous learning of the student. This last teaching load can be done through autonomous activities, group work that will be presented and defended in class or individual study necessary to achieve the learning objectives of the different subjects.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

First call exam:

  1. Midterm exam (25%)
  2. Assignments (15%)
  3. Poster project (15%)
  4. Final exam (45%)


A minimal mark of 5.0 should be obtained in the final exam and midterm in order to be taken for the calculation of the course average. The same evaluation criteria will be applied in the second sitting of the exam, without the possibility of obtaining a distinction with honors. In case of failure of the midterm exam, the student will have an extra exam the same day of the final exam.

Attendance is mandatory for all projects to pass the course.

Assignments will not be accepted after the deadline and will only be accepted by Moodle and not by email, with the exception of the in-class problems/projects that only will be allowed during the session.


Important considerations

  1. Plagiarism, copying or any other action that may be considered cheating will be zero in that evaluation section. Besides, in exams it will mean the immediate failure of the whole subject.
  2. In the second-sitting exams, the maximum grade students will be able to obtain is "Excellent" (grade with honors distinction will not be possible).
  3. Changes of the calendar, exam dates or the evaluation system will not be accepted.
  4. Exchange students (Erasmus and others) or repeaters will be subjected to the same conditions as the rest of the students.

Bibliography and resources

  1. Ranade V V., Cannon JB. Drug Delivery Systems. CRC Press; 2011. doi:10.1201/b10846
  2. Hillery AM, Park K. Drug Delivery Systems. 2nd ed. CRC Press; 2016. https://www.crcpress.com/Drug-Delivery-Fundamentals-and-Applications-Second-Edition/Hillery-Park/p/book/9781482217711.

Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 24/05/2023 P2A02 14:00h