Micro/nano encapsulation in pharmaceutical / nutraceutical field

Micro/nano encapsulation in pharmaceutical/nutraceutical field

The encapsulation of drugs or other active molecules is fundamental: to prolong release of pesticides and herbicides in the agriculture field; to enclose spices in the food industry; to incorporate essences, vitamins, and solar filters in the field of cosmetics; and to modify release of drugs from dosage systems in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

In the pharmaceutical/nutraceutical field, the full success of pharmacological therapies is strongly dependent on the use of suitable, efficient and smart drug delivery systems (DDSs). Micro and nano vectors can act as controlled drug delivery systems, allowing a sustained release to the target site, minimizing drug loss or degradation and reducing side effects.

Nano carriers, which are preferred in the case of intravenous administration, can be accumulated in tumor tissues by permeating through membrane fenestrations of tumor blood vessels thanks to the passive targeting mechanism. On the other hand, micro carriers, preferred for topical and oral applications, can assure larger drug loading capacities, keeping a low toxicity, over single-unit dosage forms.

Both can be achieved by the same processes, by adjusting some experimental conditions on the basis of both the materials features and the final desired properties, i. e. the particles size, the structure, the external charge.

Do you want to know more about polymeric micro and nano carriers? Read this.

Do you want to know more about liposomes? Read this.

Research lines

The TPP group is involved in the development of production processes and characterization of both lipid and polymeric, micro and nano systems encapsulating active molecules, obtained by both modified conventional techniques, i.e. double emulsions, and innovative techniques, using alternative energy resources, such as ultrasonic atomization, eventually coupled with microwave drying. Our research can be summarized as:

Micro and nano systems production

  • Polymeric micro systems formation through ultrasound assisted atomization
  • Polymeric microspheres formation through double emulsion
  • Polymeric nanospheres formation through multiple emulsion
  • Micro and nano liposomes formation through the thin film hydration technique followed by a size reduction process based on duty cycle sonication.

Micro and nano systems characterization

  • Analysis of the active principle release
  • Stability test of delivery systems
  • Analytical quantification
  • Gravimetric techniques, image and texture analysis

Implants planning for micro and nano systems production

  • Single-pot semicontinuous bench scale apparatus to produce micro particles
  • Single-pot semicontinuous bench scale apparatus to produce liposomes


Related publications:

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