Surface modification of acetaminophen particles by atomic layer deposition
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are predominantly organic solid powders. Due to their bulk properties many APIs require processing to improve pharmaceutical formulation and manufacturing in the preparation for various drug dosage forms. Improved powder flow and protection of the APIs are often anticipated characteristics in pharmaceutical manufacturing. In this work, we have modified acetaminophen particles with atomic layer deposition (ALD) by conformal nanometer scale coatings in a one-step coating process. According to the results, ALD, utilizing common chemistries for Al2O3, TiO2 and ZnO, is shown to be a promising coating method for solid pharmaceutical powders. Acetaminophen does not undergo degradation during the ALD coating process and maintains its stable polymorphic structure. Acetaminophen with nanometer scale ALD coatings shows slowed drug release. ALD TiO2 coated acetaminophen particles show cytocompatibility whereas those coated with thicker ZnO coatings exhibit the most cytotoxicity among the ALD materials under study when assessed in vitro by their effect on intestinal Caco-2 cells.