CryForm - Crystal Engineering the New Generation of Sustainable, Biocompatible and Stimuli Responsive Formulations for the Delivery of Active Ingredients
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CryForm aims at progressing our fundamental knowledge in organic materials crystallization and crystal engineering by: (1) gleaning a mechanistic understanding of the relationship between crystal structure and surface properties; (2) uncovering the thermodynamic and kinetic mechanisms of crystal nucleation and growth at liquid/liquid and liquid/gas interfaces; (3) understanding the role of large biomolecules in the modification of crystal growth and nucleation kinetics. This knowledge will enable the design of novel sustainable, biocompatible and stimuli responsive multiphase formulations (e.g., emulsions, foams) for the encapsulation and controlled release of active ingredients. Developing formulations with enhanced dissolution rate and bioavailability is critical for many industrial sectors: about 40% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients on the market and 60% of the ones in development are poorly soluble or scarcely bioavailable. Agrochemicals and food nutraceuticals present similar problems. Currently, synthetic excipients, surfactants and specialty polymers are used to create formulations with enhanced properties. However, these compounds are derived from non-renewable resources through some of the most greenhouse gas-intensive manufacturing processes. The production and incineration of polymeric materials will produce, in 2019, more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, the chemical synthesis of many polymers involves highly toxic, flammable and polluting reagents such as ethylene oxide, responsible for the 2004 explosion at Sterigenics International in California. It is clearly necessary to move away from polymer-based formulations and find more sustainable and safer alternatives. CryForm proposes a unique approach whereby synthetic additives will be replaced with natural crystals specifically engineered to enable controlled release of active ingredients via a unique mechanism based on stimuli-triggered solid form transformations.
- Elena Simone. (Responsabile Scientifico)
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