Pharmaceutics Research

Mission and Obectives

In the academic discipline Pharmaceutics, the administration, formulation and manufacturing of medicines are treated. The research group in Pharmaceutics at Uppsala University has the mission and overall ambition to deliver fundamental research that can be translated into better and more cost-effective medicines that will improve health care to the benefit of individuals and society. The objectives of our research are two-fold: Firstly, we wish to develop new drug delivery solutions for improved drug therapy, and secondly, we wish to develop formulation and manufacturing tools for a science-based and effective product development and manufacture. Our ambition is to conduct fundamental research as well as research that can promptly be translated into the development and manufacturing of effective and safe medicines.

Research profile

The study of solid systems, their formulation and manufacturing (solid dosage form technology), has traditionally been the dominating research theme of the group with the overall aim to develop new and improved methods and strategies to predict and manipulate the properties of particles and particle systems. In addition, the group conduct research on new drug delivery solutions for controlled drug release, currently focused on gels and particulate systems. The ambition is to develop new drug delivery solutions for improved drug therapy. The research programme of the group consists of a series of projects, several of which are linked to the Swedish Drug Delivery Forum (SDDF)

Research Projects

  1. Development of a novel pulmonary controlled release drug delivery system (SDDF-project)

  2. Controlled release in lung  (SDDF-project) 

  3. Particle dynamics and multiscale modelling of adhesive mixtures for inhaled medicines (SDDF-project)  

  4. Microstructure-property relationships of agglomerates formed by dry granulation (SDDF-project)  

  5. Critical powder properties of adhesive mixtures for inhalation (SDDF-project)  

  6. Microencapsulation of inhaled drugs – surface properties and retardation of dissolution (SDDF-project) 

Development of a novel pulmonary controlled release drug delivery system

Controlled release formulations for drug delivery to the lung would facilitate new therapeutic opportunities for the inhalation area. However, the area is challenging and there are today no controlled-release formulations available in the market. Lack of these controlled delivery systems limits the development of novel pulmonary therapies.

The aim of the project is to create new controlled release systems for drug delivery in the lung by surveying and evaluating the dissolution of several promising controlled release options as well as novel systems.

Research scientist: Irès van der Zwaan, MSc
Principal Investigator: Göran Frenning, PhD 

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Controled release in lung

Controlled release formulations for drug delivery to the lung would facilitate new therapeutic opportunities for the inhalation area. There are today no controlled release formulations for pulmonary delivery available in the market, although clinical trials, mainly of liposome-based formulations, are in progress.

The aim of the project is to develop novel controlled release formulations for pulmonary delivery of different types of drugs, including small molecules, peptides

Research scientist: Dariush Nikjoo, PhD
Principal Investigator: Göran Frenning, PhD 

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Particle dynamics and multiscale modelling of adhesive mixtures for inhaled medicines

Adhesive mixtures in which micronized particles are attached to considerably larger carrier particles, are often used to overcome the cohesiveness resulting from the small particle size needed for pulmonary drug delivery. Formulation and handling of adhesive mixtures is an unexplored regime which is of both scientific and industrial importance.

The aim of this project is to study the interaction and effective mechanical properties between the drug and carrier particles and their aggregates using a particle based modelling approach and validating the same through experiments.

Research Scientist: Sohan Sarangi, MSc
Principal Investigator: Göran Frenning, PhD 

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Microstructure-property relationships of agglomerates formed by dry granulation

Agglomerates of different types are frequently used in solid formulation, including tablets and dry powder inhalers. Lately, the interest in using dry technologies for the formation of agglomerates has increased substantially, for example to be used in continuous manufacturing. The manufacturing properties of agglomerates are related to their microstructure and to their composition.

The aim of the project is to study the relationship between microstructure and the mechanical and functional properties of agglomerates formed by dry granulation and investigate the effect of composition on such microstructure-property relationships with a special focus on agglomerate plasticity. The aim is further to develop a procedure for the assessment of mechanical properties of agglomerates.

Research scientist: Maryam Tofiq, MSc
Principal Investigator: Göran Alderborn, PhD 

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Critical powder properties of adhesive mixtures for inhalation

The type of powder frequently used in a Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) is a structured mixture often referred to as adhesive or carrier based mixture. An important aim when developing such adhesive mixtures is to achieve as high drug load as possible. However, as the load of fine particles increases, flow- and aerosolization performances are impaired and it becomes increasingly challenging to formulate the mixture.  

The focus of this project is to derive fundamental knowledge of particle interactions and blend state transitions in adhesive mixtures for inhalation. This is crucial for understanding the powder mechanics of the formulation, specifically flowability and aerosolization.

Research scientist: Jonas Rudén, MSc
Principal Investigator:Göran Alderborn, PhD

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Micro-encapsulation of inhaled drugs – surface properties and retardation of dissolution

Magnesium Stearate (MgSt) is a well-known excipient with multiple roles, such as lubricant, water barrier and etc. It is widely used to improve the flowability of powders. It may also delay the dissolution of readily soluble substances provided that a sufficiently homogenous film is obtained.

The aim of the project is to study the homogeneity and surface coverage of particles covered by MgSt films prepared by supercritical fluid technology and spray drying. The influence of the MgSt film on the cohesion between MgSt-coated APIs and their flowability will also be investigated.

Research scientist: Junxue An, PhD
Principal Investigator: Göran Frenning, PhD 

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