Microwave-assisted evaporative crystallization

Since nearly half of the new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) being identified are either insoluble or poorly soluble in water, solving bioavailability problems is a major challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. In the past the focus of this field was on the solution complexation and amorphization possibilities to increase the dissolution rate. A new way for increasing the dissolution rate is making the drug particles smaller. Smaller particles have a much higher specific surface area, which provides an increase in the dissolution rate (the amount of drug substance that dissolves per unit time). An increase in the solubility is expected as well, since according to the Ostwald-Freundlich relation, smaller particles have increased solubility.

With a novel microwave setup, developed at TU Delft, we have the unique opportunity to heat solutions extremely rapidly in a homogeneous field. The aim is to produce very small drug crystals by rapid evaporation of the solvent. The product is expected to have beneficial properties, in terms of narrow crystals size distribution, increased solubility and dissolution rate. 

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