Nanosizing techniques for improving bioavailability of drugs

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Abstract

The poor solubility of significant number of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) has become a major challenge in the drug development process. Drugs with poor solubility are difficult to formulate by conventional methods and often show poor bioavailability. In the last decade, attention has been focused on developing nanocrystals for poorly water soluble drugs using nanosizing techniques. Nanosizing is a pharmaceutical process that changes the size of a drug to the sub-micron range in an attempt to increase its surface area and consequently its dissolution rate and bioavailability. The effectiveness of nanocrystal drugs is evidenced by the fact that six FDA approved nanocrystal drugs are already on the market. The bioavailabilities of these preparations have been significantly improved compared to their conventional dosage forms. There are two main approaches for preparation of drug nanocrystals; these are the top-down and bottom-up techniques. Top-down techniques have been successfully used in both lab scale and commercial scale manufacture. Bottom-up approaches have not yet been used at a commercial level, however, these techniques have been found to produce narrow sized distribution nanocrystals using simple methods. Bottom-up techniques have been also used in combination with top-down processes to produce drug nanoparticles. The main aim of this review article is to discuss the various methods for nanosizing drugs to improve their bioavailabilities.

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