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An innovative method to create medicines

Engineers from the University of Leeds have developed a simple method that can be used in existing chemical backers to ensure the reception of drugs in crystal form.

The guarantee that the creation of drugs as crystals is carried out correctly is essential for the effectiveness of the drugs and for the proper operation of the pharmaceutical factory. Through the use of self-organizing monolayers, a research team was able to show that it is possible to produce crystals that are obtained as the desired product, that is, with the correct shape and particle structure, without the problems associated with polymorphism that cause large annual losses to the pharmaceutical sector worldwide.

"If you imagine how a layer of oil is placed on top of water, this is similar to the way a monolayer works," says Professor Kevin Roberts, from the Department of Engineering at the University of Leeds. "We have shown that it is possible to produce a well-defined crystalline structure using a self-organizing monolayer anchored to a metallic substrate inside a normal reactor (reactor). The finding is fascinating, because the system is relatively simple, and at the same time it may lead to a huge improvement in the production efficiency of medicines and great savings."

One of the first stages of the formation process is called "nucleation". During this step, crystalline particles are inserted into the mop to "encourage" the creation of more crystals. However, the way in which this step is done today is difficult to control and may lead to crystals with inappropriate structures, sizes or shapes, factors that ultimately affect the effectiveness and availability of the activity of the drugs.

Professor Roberts says: "Since this is a simple solution to the guarantee of consistent formation, the system has enormous economic potential. Our next steps are to prove that the process is efficient enough also at the industrial level."

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