Advanced drug delivery formulations are presently recognized as promising tools for overcoming the adverse
physicochemical properties of conventional drug molecules, such as poor water solubility, which often leads to poor drug
bioavailability. Oral drug delivery is considered as the easiest and most convenient route of drug administration. However,
via the current trends utilizing combinatorial chemistry and high throughput screening in drug development, new drug
molecules are moving towards lipophilic and poorly water-soluble large molecules, and the oral delivery route is becoming
increasingly challenging. In this context, formulation of poorly soluble and/or permeable drugs using mesoporous materials
and nanocrystals technology have proven to be highly successful due to the greater surface/volume ratio of these
systems, resulting in improvements in dissolution and bioavailability, as well as enhanced drug permeability. This review
addresses the issues of poorly water-soluble drugs with a major focus on recent developments in the application of the
mesoporous materials (e.g., porous silicon and silica) and nanocrystals in drug delivery applications. In addition, we present
several recent examples of the significant potential of these materials for the pharmaceutical field.
Keywords: Drug delivery, Dissolution, Nanocrystals, Pharmaceutical formulation, Porous silicon, Porous silica, Poor watersolubility.
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