Green processing of molecular materials with compressed fluids

Over recent years, new precipitation/crystallization/encapsulation processes have been developed by using as solvent media compressed or supercritical fluids (rather than conventional solvents), the most common of which is CO2 in its pure state, or mixed with other organic solvents. In this framework NANOMOL researchers have developed efficient, robust and environmentally responsible technologies for preparing molecule-based nanoparticles and nanovesicles with specific size, morphology and supramolecular organization.

The DELOS-family processes, developed in our group, has been proved very robust and have great potential for the preparation of micro and nanoparticulate compounds, in the solid state as well as in aqueous environments, with size distributions and supramolecular organization unattainable through other routes. For example DELOS platform allow the direct preparation of different types of particulate materials with different structures and application in drug delivery systems, such as:

  1. Pure solid particulate materials for formulations in the form of aerosols, tablets or water-stable suspensions.
  2. Composite solid particulate materials for the controlled release of an active molecule in a formulation in tablet or stable suspension form.
  3. Nanoliposomes and Small Unilamellar Vesicles (SUVs) as a means of encapsulating and transporting active molecules in liquid formulations or topical creams.

delos15Our high-pressure technologies with compressed fluids are robust, reproducible and scalable. They reduce the use of organic solvents (substituted by dense gases such as liquid or supercritical CO2), and are capable of effectively modulating the micro and nanoscopic characteristics of the material. They also represent a reduction in energy cost, due to the fact that they are single stage processes. These processes are governed by changes in pressure, which transmit much faster than those of temperature or composition which rule in liquid solvents. Therefore, these methods permit the preparation of molecular organizations with characteristics unavailable through conventional techniques.

For relevant recent publications on this topic see:

  • S. Sala, A. Córdoba, E. Moreno-Calvo, E. Elizondo, M. Muntó, P. E. Rojas, M. À. Larrayoz, N. Ventosa, J. Veciana, Cryst. Growth Des., 2012, 12, 1717−1726.
  • F. Temelli, A. Córdoba, E. Elizondo, M. Cano-Sarabia, J. Veciana, N. Ventosa, J. of Supercritical Fluids, 2012, 63, 59–68.
  • S. Sala, E. Elizondo, E. Moreno-Calvo, N. Ventosa, J. Veciana, Chemistry Today, 2013, 31, 6-10
  • R. F. Henkel, P. E. Rojas, M. Cano-Sarabia, S. Sala, J. Veciana, A. Breauer, N. Ventosa, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 8215-8218
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