Crystallisation behaviour of pharmaceutical compounds confined within mesoporous silicon

Eleanor C. L. Jones, Luis M. Bimbo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


The poor aqueous solubility of new and existing drug compounds represents a significant challenge in pharmaceutical development, with numerous strategies currently being pursued to address this issue. Amorphous solids lack the repeating array of atoms in the structure and present greater free energy than their crystalline counterparts which in turn enhances the solubility of the compound. The loading of drug compounds into porous materials has been described as a promising approach for the stabilisation of the amorphous state but is dependent on many factors including pore size and surface chemistry of the substrate material.

This review looks at the applications of mesoporous materials in the confinement of pharmaceutical compounds to increase their dissolution rate or modify their release, and the influence of varying pore size to crystallise metastable polymorphs. We focus our attention on mesoporous silicon, due to the ability of its surface to be easily modified, enabling it to be stabilised and functionalised for the loading of various drug compounds. The use of neutron and synchrotron X-ray to examine compounds and the mesoporous materials in which they are confined is also discussed, moving away from the conventional analysis methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number214
Number of pages24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2020


  • crystallisation
  • porous silicon
  • drug confinement
  • drug delivery


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