Approximately 40% of approved drugs and 90% of pipeline drugs exhibit poor water solubility, which often leads to low drug efficacy.  In biomedical applications, biodegradable polymer nanoparticles can be particularly useful in formulating poorly soluble drugs for improved bioavailability, safety, tolerability and efficacy.  However, among various polymer nanoparticle systems, drug loading is usually below 10% which hinders their practical applications.

Researchers at The University of Queensland have developed new approaches for the synthesis of polymer (eg. PLGA, PLGA-PEG, PLA-PEG, shellac) nanoparticles encapsulating insoluble small molecule drugs (eg. paclitaxel, docetaxel, curcumin, amphotericin B, Scutellarin, Bulleyaconitine A, ibuprofen, ketamine, imaging agents Dil and DiO).  These methods allow for the improved control of polymer formation around drug nanoparticle cores whilst avoiding the formation of aggregates.

Key features

  • Preparation of core-shell nanoparticles with up to 58.5% drug loading
  • Simple, reproducible method that enables good particle size control and stability.

Potential application

  • Encapsulation of insoluble small molecule drugs
  • Formulation of active ingredients for animal health and agrichemical applications
  • Encapsulation of imaging agents.

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