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National Deuteration facility
National Deuteration Facility

News and highlights

  • A gloved hand holding a red capsule

    New type of nanoparticles for drug delivery


    Monash University researchers have used advanced techniques at ANSTO to investigate the production of new, elongated polymer nanocapsules with a high payload of drug nanocrystals to potentially increase drug targetability, and also decrease dosage frequency and side effects.

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  • Three Scrabble tiles spelling W-I-N

    Neutron and Deuteration Impact Awards


    The Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering and National Deuteration Facility have announced the first recipients of the Neutron and Deuteration Impact Awards. 

    The competition enabled researchers, who used these landmark facilities over the past three years, to put their wider science communication skills to the test, and to summarise their work and describe its impacts.

    Congratulations to NDF user Leonie van ‘t Hag from Monash University for winning in the Health category.

    Find out more
  • cell surface

    Supporting new areas of COVID research


    ANSTO’s National Deuteration Facility has been providing high-quality deuterated lipids used in the construction of cell membrane models to support research that improves our understanding of how the virus interacts with elements of the cell membrane, a relatively new area of investigation.

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  • Contrast matching mineral oil

    Enabling polymer research


    The National Deuteration Facility has supported industry through the synthesis of deuterated mineral oil, which was supplied to Japanese chemical manufacturer Mitsui Chemicals.

    Mitsui Chemicals specialises in polymeric materials for packaging, appliances, construction and other applications. 

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  • vaccination

    Improving mRNA vaccines


    Recent international research involved the deuteration of cholesterol for lipid nanoparticles to improve mRNA drug delivery and vaccines.

    The National Deuteration Facility at ANSTO provided the biodeuterated cholesterol, which was used with small-angle neutron scattering, to gain structural insights into the composition of the lipid nanoparticles.

    Deuteration can also be used to enhance the metabolic properties of some biomolecules and the structural integrity of some materials.

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  • bacteria

    Research into protein structures


    ANSTO's National Deuteration Facility is the world's primary source in highly deuterated monoolein, one of the most important lipids in the fields of drug delivery, emulsion stabilization and protein crystallization.

    The supply of this molecule has enabled multiple researchers within Australia and internationally to utilise neutrons to investigate protein structures. Demand for this molecule from the national and international community continues to grow.

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  • Lab

    To D or not to D?


    A collaboration of ANSTO scientists led by the National Deuteration Facility has developed a new screening method to rapidly determine if a deuterated molecule has improved metabolic stability.

    Because molecules labelled with deuterium (a non-radioactive isotope of hydrogen) can be metabolised more slowly than their non-deuterated (protonated) counterparts, they have a range of potential benefits such as reducing required drug dosage.

    In addition to the possibility of lowering drug doses, deuterated molecules can alter the type and quantity of metabolites that are formed, some of which have unfavourable side effects. 

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  • Shelves filled with files

    News archive


    To access past NDF News and Highlights, please access the page below.

    News archive


The National Deuteration Facility is partly supported by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy – an initiative of the Australian Government.

NCRIS version 2