The Particle Engineering and Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology Laboratory designs advanced particulate formulations and processes for various high-value-added product industries such as the pharmaceutical, flavors and fragrances, nutraceuticals and agrochemical industries. With an array of characterization and processing equipment, the laboratory has made significant advances on the bioavailability enhancement of poorly water soluble drugs via three platform approaches: nanosuspensions, nanocomposites and amorphous solid dispersions. Highlights from recent research include the preparation of concentrated sub-100 nm drug suspensions for sterile filtration, fast-dissolving surfactant-free drug nanocomposites with colloidal superdisintegrants for bioavailability enhancement, and a nanoextrusion–spray drying platform for comparing nanocomposites with amorphous solid dispersions. The laboratory also examines mechanisms such as particle breakage, aggregation, agglomeration, and growth during the formation of nanoparticles and microparticles in various approaches, from the top-down (wet stirred media milling), to the bottom-up (melt emulsification, liquid anti-solvent precipitation). We couple experimentation with population balance modeling, discrete element modeling, computational fluid dynamics and microhydrodynamic modeling to elucidate complex non-linear rate processes that occur in manufacturing operations. The laboratory has secured funding from the National Science Foundation, the European Research Council and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as from private sources such as Boehringer-Ingelheim, Catalent Pharma Solutions, International Flavors & Fragrances and Nisso America.
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