Poorly water-soluble drugs are a significant and ongoing issue for the pharmaceutical industry. An overview of recent developments for the preparation of spray-dried delivery systems is presented. Examples include amorphous solid dispersions, spray dried dispersions, microparticles, nanoparticles, surfactant systems and self-emulsifying drug delivery systems. Several aspects of formulation are considered, such as pre-screening, choosing excipient(s), the effect of polymer structure on performance, formulation optimisation, ternary dispersions, fixed-dose combinations, solvent selection and component miscibility. Process optimisation techniques including nozzle selection are discussed. Comparisons are drawn with other preparation techniques such as hot melt extrusion, freeze drying, milling, electro spinning and film casting. Novel analytical and dissolution techniques for the characterization of amorphous solid dispersions are included. Progress in understanding of amorphous supersaturation or recrystallisation from solution gathered from mechanistic studies is discussed. Aspects of powder flow and compression are considered in a section on downstream processing. Overall, spray drying has a bright future due to its versatility, efficiency and the driving force of poorly soluble drugs.Graphical abstract
Schematic representation of amorphous solid dispersions (ASD), microparticles, nanoparticles, Fixed dose (ASD), Ternary ASD and Self-emulsifying drug delivery systems (SEDDS) prepared by spray drying. Active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) 1 and 2, surfactant and polymers 1 and 2 are illustrated in the legend.