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BASF is working together with top universities to develop a new supersonic spray-drying process for production of stable and soluble amorphous nanoparticles.
BASF announced that it is working together with researchers from renowned universities-Harvard, EPFL (Switzerland), and Yale-to develop a new process that can increase the solubility of amorphous nanoparticles. The collaboration aims to tackle poor solubility, which is the cause of many drugs being discontinued from further development.
The international research team has developed a microfluidic nebulizer to create very small nanoparticles from drugs that are first dissolved in a solvent and then exposed to a stream of air with the speed of 600 m/s. This high-speed air flow enables fast evaporation of the solvent, leaving no time for the drug molecules to arrange themselves in the crystal form, notes Christian Holtze, research manager at BASF in a press statement. As a result, the molecules are randomly arranged in an amorphous structure that can more easily dissolve in water. The increased solubility is important because it translate to better bioavailability. The process can be applied to both organic and inorganic substances making it attractive for numerous potential applications.
According to Esther Amstad, professor at EPFL and formerly a researcher at Harvard, this system offers good control over the composition, structure, and the size of particles, enabling the formation of new materials.
Marc Schroeder, BASF researcher and Head of the North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials believes this finding is a result of strong collaboration between industry and academia working on scientific challenges. “The interdisciplinary approach has helped find a scientific explanation to an unexpected experimental finding, thus enabling broader potential applications of this technology,” Schroeder commented.