Rutgers CBE Labs and Facilities

Pharmaceutical Engineering  

The Pharmaceutical Engineering Laboratory at Rutgers-New Brunswick includes over 15,000 square feet of dedicated research and development space:  

  • 6,400 square feet specifically designed for pharmaceutical manufacturing research 
  • 1,100 square feet of space devoted to Test Bed 1, the continuous manufacturing commercialization project 
  • 8,400 square feet of laboratory space for nano-catalysis and reaction engineering activities 
  • 2,000 square feet of laboratory space for powder materials storage  

The pharmaceutical manufacturing research area, complete with GMP-quality, seamless epoxy flooring, has capabilities for controlling temperature and humidity, thereby enabling the maintenance of environmental conditions conducive to pharmaceutical manufacturing. The nano-catalysis research area is outfitted with over 13 laminar-flow hoods, and three of the lab rooms also have temperature and humidity controls. The two-story pilot plant area for continuous manufacturing is equipped with specialized equipment, controls, and safety interlocks designed to eliminate the safety hazards associated with the explosivity of powder/air mixtures often encountered in processing, and with the toxicological effects linked to APIs and inert dust particles. 

In addition, the CSOPS center at Rutgers also features the 2,000 sq. ft. Continuous Pharmaceutical Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (CpAML), a fully integrated, control-enabled, commercial-scale pilot plant for continuous manufacturing. This facility, which is the only one of its kind at a university anywhere in the world, is capable of manufacturing pharmaceutical products by any of the major modes (direct compression, wet granulation, roller compaction, and hot melt extrusion, as well as capsules). The equipment comprises a number of major units (three blenders, 10 feeders, two roller compactors, two tablet presses, a continuous granulator, and a continuous drier) that have been received (mostly as in-kind contributions of ERC industrial members), and a seamless floor and air handling equipment. In addition, CpAML is also equipped with specialized equipment, controls, and safety interlocks designed to eliminate the safety hazards associated with the explosivity of powder/air mixtures often encountered in processing. The Rutgers facility served as the model for the INSPIRE facility by Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, and has been also the starting design point of numerous other facilities at companies around the world. 


The biological engineering and glycan/protein engineering laboratories have over 1700 sq ft of fully renovated space with a 4 ft chemical fume hood and a 6 ft biosafety hood. This space (shared between Co-PIs Zhang and Chundawat) is available in a renovated facility at the school of engineering dedicated to biochemical and biomedical engineering-focused research. A variety of equipment is available for this project. General purpose instruments include multiple temperature-controlled incubator shakers, large incubator ovens, spectrophotometer, tabletop, and large volume centrifuges, -20 oC freezers; pH meter, microwave, water baths, UV transilluminator, DNA/protein gel imager, electroporator, thermal cyclers, and DNA/protein gel boxes for standard molecular cloning and protein expression analysis, sonicator, large autoclave, and water purifier system. In a separate building, the research team has a 300 sq. ft state-of-the-art clean room for CHO cell bioreactor cultivation and a 300 sq. ft bio lab for regular cell cultivation operations. There are 5 biosafety hoods readily accessible for this project. Key instruments, such as a bioreactor capable of running at batch, fed-batch, and perfusion mode, CO2 culture incubator, bench-top centrifuge, freezers, etc., are available for the proposed research. This space is also equipped with advanced analytical chemistry instruments, including a PCR cycler, HPLC, mobile LCMS, Raman spectroscopy, and FIA lab autosampler. The mammalian cell culture work will be supported by the existing facilities at Rutgers. One tissue culture room (200 ft2) and 4 lab benches (600 ft2) in an open research space are available for supporting the proposed work. Routine animal work is performed within the AAALAC-certified modern animal facility that is available in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) building. Investigators pay a per diem charge. It is equipped with bottle and cage washers as well as surgical areas, stereotactic equipment, and a biosafety cabinet.  


Energy & Catalysis  

Lab spaces: Fully renovated 2,500 sq. ft. laboratories with s4, 6 ft. fume hoods, and office space for students. 

Departmental –   Access to various low and high field solution NMR spectrometers (ranging from 400 to 700 MHz, Brüker and Varian/Agilent), a solid-state NMR spectrometer (400 MHz, Brüker), a small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) instrument, multiple X-ray diffractometers (single crystal and powder), several FT-IR spectrometers, diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) spectrometer, a Raman micro-Raman spectrometer, and a high-resolution mass spectrometer. Access to other excellent facilities around Rutgers University for the synthesis and characterization of the proposed electrocatalysts. There are several consortia at Rutgers that host multi-user facilities operated by expert staff scientists, including the Laboratory for Surface Modification (LSM) and the Micro-nanofabrication and Characterization Laboratory. These centers oversee and operate a range of facilities and laboratories for materials synthesis and characterization. Notable instrumentations in these centers include the following. Several ICP-MS and ICP-OES instruments are also available throughout Rutgers University for researchers to use.  

For synthetic work, there is a range of synthetic equipment to prepare various nanostructured materials, catalysts, and electrocatalysts. It includes rotavaps, vacuum lines, centrifuges, ultrasonicators, ovens, tube furnaces, and oven furnaces. 

Research labs have a UV-Vis spectrometer (Lambda 950, PerkinElmer) for optical absorption measurements of samples in solution, solid-state or thin film form with wavelength up to the near infrared region (200-3000 nm wavelength); a gas adsorption instrument (Micromeritics Tristar 3000) for measurement of low relative pressure and high resolution surface area, for determination of pore diameter and pore size distribution of electrocatalytic materials; a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) with autosampler (Q500, TA Instruments); a gas-chromatograph - mass spectrometer (GC-MS, HP 5972); a gas chromatography instrument (GC, Agilent) equipped with different types of columns and detector; and a potentiostat (PAR 273A, Princeton Applied Research) equipped with a Faraday cage, and all the necessary software to do impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. There are also instruments that require software but under otherwise working conditions, a GC-MS (newer than the other instrument listed above); a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC, Agilent); and a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). 

Research labs have constructed four gas-flow manifolds attached to quartz tube reactors capable of heating to high temperatures with electrically resistive furnace heaters and PID temperature controllers, and capable of elevated pressure using backpressure valves. Digital mass flow controllers control the gas flow through high-pressure gas lines constructed from stainless steel tubing and Swagelok tube fittings. The PI has also custom-built high-pressure in situ reactors with low dead-volume and CaF2 windows capable of simultaneous kinetic measurements and collection of transmission FTIR spectra at elevated temperatures and pressures. Additional reactors include high pressure and high temperature in situ diffuse reflection reactor from Harrick capable of FTIR and UV-Vis spectroscopic measurements with a Praying Mantis diffuse reflectance accessory, and a Parr autoclave constructed of Hastelloy-C corrosion-resistant alloy. A programmable Lindberg/Blue tube furnace and a programmable Thermo oven are used for catalyst pretreatment and synthesis.  

The labs are also equipped with an Agilent 7890B GC and an Agilent 5977A GCMS for the collection of steady-state and transient rate data. The GCMS has been custom-modified to allow simultaneous parallel collection and analysis of GC and MS data in addition to series GCMS data collection. The lab is equipped with a Thermo Nicolet iS50 FTIR spectrometer and Thermo Evolution 300 UV-Vis spectrophotometer for in situ spectroscopy.