What is it about?

"Nanosizing" drug crystals is an established approach to improve the performance of orally-delivered hydrophobic drugs by decreasing the size of drug crystals to the nano-scale. However, conventional nanosizing methods are energy-intensive and difficult to optimize. Additionally, combination drug products, which have multiple drugs in the same pill, have many clinical benefits, but are difficult to manufacture. Here, we demonstrate a versatile approach to generate and stabilize drug nanocrystals inside hydrogels. We use two orthogonal gelations to make core-shell hydrogels which can structure distinct drugs in each layer. Our approach enables independently controllable drug loading and release in each layer, suggesting a potentially scalable route for manufacturing combination products of hydrophobic drugs.

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Why is it important?

We have shown that generating drug nanocrystals from nanoemulsions is a viable and potentially scalable approach. This "bottom-up" route for making drug nanocrystals could represent a paradigm shift from the conventional "top-down" routes used in industry. Our work also demonstrates a new way to make combination drug products that can be adapted for a given drug combination. Finally, our use of orthogonal gelations represents a new way that functional core-shell hydrogels could be manufactured for other applications.


We hope this article highlights how fundamental chemical engineering principles including the fluid mechanics of polymer solutions, thermodynamics of emulsification, and kinetics of dissolution can be applied to improve the way medicine is made.

Lucas Attia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Orthogonal Gelations to Synthesize Core‐Shell Hydrogels Loaded with Nanoemulsion‐Templated Drug Nanoparticles for Versatile Oral Drug Delivery, Advanced Healthcare Materials, July 2023, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/adhm.202301667.
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