Dr. Ildiko Badea

B.Sc.(Honors, summa cum laude) (Romania), Ph.D. (Sask.)
Associate Professor of Pharmacy

3D01.5 Health Sciences
Phone: 306-966-6349
Fax: 306-966-6377

Dr. Badea joined the College in July 2007. She is a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Research Group at the University of Saskatchewan with expertize in drug delivery systems.

  • Teaching Responsibilities
  • Research Interests

The application of biotechnology in medicine resulted in an explosion of new therapeutic agents, such as proteins, DNA, and RNA. The major advantage of these drugs over chemical agents is their specificity and selectivity. My research focuses on the use of DNA as a biotechnology drug. Similar to the majority of biological molecules, DNA is degraded rapidly in the body. Its encapsulation into a delivery system increases circulation time and permits accumulation of the drug in certain organs.

Thus, pharmaceutical formulation development is one of the key steps in the design and development of gene therapy products. Lipid-based soft nanoparticles and nanodiamond-based gene delivery systems, which have the ability to encapsulate or complex DNA and shuttle it into the cells are developed in my laboratory. We use state-of-the-art technology for the systematic evaluation of the gene transfer efficiency of these novel nanoparticles. Assessment of the DNA delivery systems will lead to the development of in vivo gene delivery systems for topical non-invasive administration.

The development of novel delivery systems has also given new hope for synthetic therapeutic agents that are effective but cannot reach their full potential in clinical evaluations due to the lack of selectivity and poor bioavailability. Incorporation of novel, poorly soluble anticancer drugs in delivery systems improves their pharmacokinetic profile and reduces their toxicity. In my laboratory, we evaluate the ability of the encapsulated drug to stop cell proliferation, and programmed cell death. The successful targeted delivery of the cytotoxic agents into cancer cells without affecting healthy cells will lead to applied research for cancers with poor outcomes, such as skin cancers.

  • Recent Publications (see more in Scopus)

Kaur R., Badea I. (2013). Nanodiamonds as novel nanomaterials for biomedical applications: drug delivery and imaging systems. Int J Nanomed 8.

Kaur R, Chitandra JM, Michel D, Maley J, Borondics F, Yang P, Verrall RE, Badea I. (2012). Lysine-functionalized nanodiamonds: synthesis, physiochemical characterization, and nucleic acid binding studies. Int J Nanomed ­7.

Wang H-D, Yang Q, Hui Niu C, Niu, Badea I. (2012). Adsorption of azo dye onto nanodiamond surface Diam Relat Mater – in press

Michel D, Chitanda J, Balogh R, Singh J, Das U, El-Aneed A, Dimmock J, Verrall R, Badea I. (2012). Design and evaluation of cyclodextrin-based delivery systems for incorporation of curcumin analogs for topical treatment of melanoma. Eur J Pharm Biopharm 81:3.

Singh J, Michel D, Chitanda JM, VerrallRE, Badea I. (2012). Evaluation of cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking as determining factors of gene expression for amino acid-substituted gemini surfactant-based DNA nanoparticles. J Nanobiotech 10:7

Donkuru M, Wettig SD, Verrall R, Badea I, Foldvari M. (2012). Designing pH-sensitive gemini nanoparticles for non-viral gene delivery into keratinocytes. J. Mater. Chem 22 (13):6232 - 6244

Mohammed-Saeid W, Buse J, Badea I, Verrall R, El-Aneed A. (2012) Mass spectrometric analysis of amino acid/di-peptide modified gemini surfactants used as gene delivery agents: Establishment of a universal mass spectrometric fingerprint. Int J Mass Spectrom 309:182-191

Buse J, Badea I, Verrall RE, El-Aneed A. (2011) Tandem mass spectrometric analysis of novel diquaternary ammonium gemini surfactants and their bromide adducts in electrospray-positive ion mode ionization. J Mass Spectrom 46(10):1060-70

Badea I, Virtanen C, Verrall R, Rosenberg A, Foldvari M. (2012) Effect of topical interferon-γ gene therapy using gemini nanoparticles on pathophysiological markers of cutaneous scleroderma in Tsk/+ mice Gene Ther. doi:10.1038/gt.2011.159

Badea I, Shatterian N, Foldvari M. (2011) Topical gene delivery in mice using gemini surfactant – lipid nanoparticles with and without tape electrode electroporation. Drug Deliv Lett 1:66-68

Wang HD, Niu CH, Yang Q, Badea I. (2011) Protein-modified nanodiamond particles for Layer-by-Layer assembly. Diamond & Related Materials 20:1193-1198

Singh J, Yang P, Michel D, Verrall RE, Foldvari M, Badea I. (2011) Amino acid-substituted gemini surfactant-based nanoparticles are safe and versatile gene delivery agents Curr Drug Deliv 8(3):299-306

Wang HD, Niu CH, Yang Q, Badea I. (2011) Study on protein conformation and adsorption behaviors in nanodiamond particle-protein complexes. Nanotechnology 22:145703.

Foldvari M, Badea I, Kumar P, Wettig S, Batta R, King M, He Z, Yeboah E, Gaspar K, Hull P, Shear NH (2010) Topical delivery of interferon alpha in human volunteers and treatment of patients with human papillomavirus infections Curr Drug Deliv 8(3):307-319

Donkuru M, Badea I, Wettig S, Verrall R, Elsabahy M, Foldvari M. (2010) Advancing nonviral gene delivery: lipid- and surfactant-based nanoparticle design strategies. Nanomedicine 5: 1103-1127

Badea I, Babiuk S, Babiuk L, Foldvari M. (2010) Gemini nanoparticles as a co-delivery system for antigen – CpG oligodeoxynucleotide adjuvant combination. Int. J. Biomed Nanosci Nanotech 1: 290-307

Yang P, Singh J, Wettig S, Foldvari M, Verrall R, Badea I. (2010) Enhanced gene expression in epithelial cells transfected with amino-acid substituted gemini nanoparticles Eur J Pharm Biopharm 75: 311-20

Foldvari M, Badea I, Wettig S, Baboolal D, Kumar P, Haynes CA, Creagh AL. (2010) Topical delivery of interferon alpha by biphasic vesicles: evidence for a novel nanopathway across the stratum corneum. Mol Pharm 7: 751-62

Buse J, Badea I, Verrall RE, El-Aneed, A. (2010) Tandem Mass Spectrometric Analysis of the Novel Gemini Surfactant Nanoparticle Family 12-s-12 and 18:1-s-18:1. Spectroscopy Letters 43:447–457

Badea I, Taylor M, Rosenberg A, Foldvari M. (2009) Pathogenesis and therapeutic approaches for improved topical treatment in localized scleroderma and systemic sclerosis Rheumatology 45(3): 213-221

Badea I, Wettig S, Verrall R, Foldvari M. (2007) Topical non-invasive gene delivery using gemini nanoparticles in interferon-gamma-deficient mice. Eur J Pharm Biopharm


  • Research Category Key Words

Nanotechnology, Gene Therapy, Non-Invasive Administration, Cationic Lipids, Nanodiamonds

  • Video presentation: Non-viral Gene Delivery Using Cationic Gemini Surfactants