Physico-chemical properties of aqueous drug solutions: From the basic thermodynamics to the advanced experimental and simulation results

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The physical chemical properties of aqueous solutions of model compounds are illustrated in relation to hydration and solubility issues by using three perspectives: thermodynamic, spectroscopic and molecular dynamics simulations. The thermodynamic survey of the fundamental backgrounds of concentration dependence and experimental solubility results show some peculiar behavior of aqueous solutions with several types of similar solutes. Secondly, the use of a variety of experimental spectroscopic devices, operating under different experimental conditions of dimension and frequency, has produced a large amount of structural and dynamic data on aqueous solutions showing the richness of the information produced, depending on where and how the experiment is carried out. Finally, the use of molecular dynamics computational work is presented to highlight how the different types of solute functional groups and surface topologies organize adjacent water molecules differently. The highly valuable contribution of computer simulation studies in providing molecular explanations for experimental deductions, either of a thermodynamic or spectroscopic nature, is shown to have changed the current knowledge of many aqueous solution processes. While this paper is intended to provide a collective view on the latest literature results, still the presentation aims at a tutorial explanation of the potentials of the three methodologies in the field of aqueous solutions of pharmaceutical molecules.

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