April 30, 2010
Nanotechnology: Particle Size Reduction Technologies in Pharmaceutical Development Process
In the last 30 years, particle size reduction technologies turned from an exploratory approach into a mature commercial drug delivery platform. Nanonization technologies have gained a special importance due to a steadily increasing number of development compounds showing poor aqueous solubility. Many drug delivery companies and academic research groups have contributed to the currently existing large variety of different technologies to produce drug nanoparticles. These particles consist of pure active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and are often stabilized with surfactants and/or polymeric stabilizers adsorbed onto their surface. The mean particle size ranges normally from 100 nm up to 1000 nm. If these drug particles are suspended in a dispersion medium and used as such, then these formulations are regarded as nanosuspensions. In order to develop a solid dosage form, these nanosuspensions have to be transformed via e.g. spray drying, freeze drying or granulation into a dry product.
Author: Jan Möschwitzer, Ph.D. Early Pharmaceutical Development, Sector Product Development and Support, Abbott Healthcare Products (formerly Solvay Pharmaceuticals)