Confined crystallization of fenofibrate in nanoporous silica†
Producing stable nanocrystals confined to porous excipient media is a desirable way to increase the dissolution rate and improve the bioavailability of poorly water soluble pharmaceuticals. The poorly soluble pharmaceutical fenofibrate was crystallized in controlled pore glass (CPG) of 10 different pore sizes between 12 nm and 300 nm. High drug loadings of greater than 20 wt% were achieved across all pore sizes greater than 20 nm. Nanocrystalline fenofibrate was formed in pore sizes greater than 20 nm and showed characteristic melting point depressions following a Gibbs–Thomson relationship as well as enhanced dissolution rates. Solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) was employed to characterize the crystallinity of the confined molecules. These results help to advance the fundamental understanding of nanocrystallization in confined pores.