Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Swedish Nanexa demonstrate ALD controlled drug delivery

PharmaShell® is a completely new drug delivery system from Nanexa and has demonstrated great potential to revolutionize drug formulation in the future. PharmaShell® is based on containment of microscopic drug particles, which allow for new possibilities for targeting and dosing of drugs with higher precision.



Many drugs today are used as small particles and they can be administered in several ways, e.g. intravenous, orally or by inhalation. PharmaShell® provides a technique where solid drug particles in the size range of nanometers to micrometers are completely contained. The containment is provided by creating a shell, with a thickness of a few nanometers, on the surface of the drug particles. The shell is made from a mineral compound which has low solubility. This allows the shell to completely dissolve and exit the human body. The release of the contained drug is rigorously controlled by the predetermined thickness of the shell, a thicker shell takes longer time to dissolve and vice versa. In this way the extent of therapeutic time can be tailored.



Powder sample loaded into a Picosun ALD reactor.


PharmaShell® is synthesized directly on the surface of drug particles, which gives a drug load that is extremely high. The “drug load” is defined as weight of active drug in a formulation by the total weight. A high drug load in competing drug delivery systems is around 20%, with PharmaShell® the drug load is rarely below 70%.

In order to create the shell on drug particles we use a chemical deposition technique called Atomic Layer Deposition, ALD. ALD enable growth of well-controlled shells on nanoparticles in a way that no other techniques can.

A further advantage with PharmaShell® is that we provide a well-defined outer surface of the coated particles. The surface provided by PharmaShell® is covered by chemically bonded hydroxyl groups, which are most suitable for further binding of other molecules, such as targeting molecules that can otherwise be difficult to bind to surfaces of drug particles.

PharmaShell® also contributes to longer shelf life of the coated drugs. Extremely small amounts of oxygen and water can react with solid drug particles and destroy their function or merge them into larger particles. PharmaShell® is proven to be completely dense which effectively prevents oxygen, water or other gaseous compounds from penetrating and ruining the drug.