Simplifying Drug Development
News Aug 11, 2016
By controlling the pore structure of the material, the amorphous phase of poorly soluble drug substances and stabilized rate of drug delivery may be tailored.
After the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981, the discovery of fullerenes in 1985 and Drexler's dystopian presentation of nanotechnology in the book Engines of Creation (Engines of Creation) in 1986, nanomaterials made its entrance in large areas of materials development industry.
An important group nanomaterials are the mesoporous material having pores or voids with diameters between 2 and 50 nm (nanometer). Such materials currently being developed for multiple applications - the supply of medicines and vaccines, regeneration of bone tissue, chromatography, catalysis and for moisture adsorption and gas separation.
For such applications it is important to tailor the pore structure of the material. Until now this has been achieved by the use of organic template molecules or swelling agent that must be removed by high temperature before the material can be used.
In a publication presented in the RSC Advances, researchers from the Department of nanotechnology and functional materials at Uppsala University, in collaboration with researchers from Stockholm University, for the first time shown that it is possible to tailor the pore structure of mesoporous materials, Upsalite® without using organic molecules as templates or swelling agents, but instead only control the energy input during the production process. This simplifies the synthesis of mesoporous materials and thus expected to be important for industrial scale up.
Moreover, the researchers show that the amorphous structure of the poorly soluble antifungal drug itraconazole can be stabilized in Upsalites® pores, and that the release rate of the drug can be controlled by adjusting the pore size.
- This discovery opens new possibilities to stabilize the large number of poorly soluble substances that are in the pipeline at the research and development departments of the big drug companies, says Maria Strømme, professor of nanotechnology at Uppsala University.