Crystallization of Undercooled Liquids Materials
to Improve Drug Bioavailability

Spaepen and Weitz investigated the solubility of the amorphous state of fenofibrate, a generic hydrophobic drug. Because the structure is amorphous, the drug is significantly more soluble in water than if it were in the more common crystalline phase. Producing drug molecules such as fenofibrate in the amorphous state may have important applications in drug delivery. Crystallization must be prevented, and to investigate mechanisms, they studied crystal growth in undercooled liquid fenofibrate using confocal microscopy at different temperatures, 293 K (a), 303 K (b), 313 K (c), and 323 K (d). Crystal growth is very slow due to the internal structure of the molecules, providing guidance to refine production of fenofibrate in the amorphous phase.

Frans Spaepen (SEAS), and
David A. Weitz (Physics and Applied Physics)
Harvard MRSEC (DMR-1420570)