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Current Drug Delivery


ISSN (Print): 1567-2018
ISSN (Online): 1875-5704

Nanoparticles in the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Use of Supercritical Fluid Technologies for Nanoparticle Production

Author(s): Pratik Sheth, Harpreet Sandhu, Dharmendra Singhal, Waseem Malick, Navnit Shah and M. Serpil Kislalioglu

Volume 9, Issue 3, 2012

Page: [269 - 284] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/156720112800389052

Price: $65


Poor aqueous solubility of drug candidates is a major challenge for the pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug development. Particle size reduction appears as an effective and versatile option for solubility improvement. Nanonization is an attractive solution to improve the bioavailability of the poorly soluble drugs, improved therapies, in vivo imaging, in vitro diagnostics and for the production of biomaterials and active implants. In drug delivery, application of nanotechnology is commonly referred to as Nano Drug Delivery Systems (NDDS). In this article, commercially available nanosized drugs, their dosage forms and proprietors, as well as the methods used for preparation like milling, high pressure homogenization, vacuum deposition, and high temperature evaporation were listed. Unlike the traditional methods used for the particle size reduction, supercritical fluid-processing techniques offer advantages ranging from superior particle size control to clean processing. The primary focus of this review article is the use of supercritical CO2 based technologies for small particle generation. Particles that have the smooth surfaces, small particle size and distribution and free flowing can be obtained with particular SCF techniques. In almost all techniques, the dominating process variables may be thermodynamic and aerodynamic in nature, and the design of the particle collection environment. Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solutions (RESS), Supercritical Anti Solvent (SAS) and Particles from Gas Saturated Solutions (PGSS) are three groups of processes which lead to the production of fine and monodisperse powders. Few of them may also control crystal polymorphism. Among the aforementioned processes, RESS involves dissolving a drug in a supercritical fluid (SCF) and passing it through an appropriate nozzle. Rapid depressurization of this solution causes an extremely rapid nucleation of the product. This process has been known for a long time but its application is limited. Carbon dioxide, which is the only supercritical fluid that is preferentially used in pharmaceutical processes, is not a good solvent for many Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). Various researchers have modified the RESS process to overcome its solubilizing limitations, by introducing RESOLV, RESAS, and RESS-SC. Overall, all RESS based processes are difficult to scale up. The SAS processes are based on decreasing the solvent power of a polar organic solvent in which the substrate (API & polymer of interest) is dissolved, by saturating it with carbon dioxide (CO2) at supercritical conditions. CO2 causes precipitation and recrystalization of the drug. SAS is scalable and can be applied to a wide variety of APIs and polymers. Minor modifications of basic SAS process include GAS, ASES, SAS-DEM and SAS-EM. Processes where SCF is used as an anti solvent and dispersing agent include SEDS, SAA, and A-SAIS. The mechanisms and applications of these processes were briefly discussed. In PGSS, CO2 is dissolved in organic solutions or melted compounds and it is successfully used for manufacturing drug products as well as for drying purposes. The two widely used methods, PGSSdrying and CAN-BD SCF, were also included in discussions. Among the limitations of the techniques involved, the poor solvent power of CO2, the cost and necessity of voluminous usage of the CO2 can be mentioned. There is still confusion in contribution of each variable on the particle morphology and properties regardless of the number of mechanistic studies available. The advantages of especially SAS and PGSS based techniques are the production of the nano or micro sized spherical particles with smooth surfaces and narrow particle size distribution. Regardless of its advantages, the reasons why 25 years of active research, and more than 10 years of process development could not promote the use of (SCF) technology, and produced only few commercial drug products, necessitate further evaluation of this technique.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, nanoparticulated drugs, supercritical fluids, RESS, SAS, SEDS, PGSS

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