Mechanically strong geopolymers offer new possibilities in treatment of chronic pain

J Control Release. 2010 Sep 15;146(3):370-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2010.05.029. Epub 2010 May 31.


We propose that a clay derived class of materials, known as geopolymers, may solve the problem of finding materials for controlled release with the right combination of properties necessary for a safe and sustained oral delivery of highly potent opioids. We show that the opioid Fentanyl, and its structurally similar sedative Zolpidem, can be embedded into metakaolin based geopolymer pellets to provide prolonged release dosage forms with mechanical strengths of the same order of magnitude as that of human teeth. The results presented in the current work may open up new opportunities for future development of drug delivery for high potency drugs employing high-strength and variable-pore-structure geopolymers and materials alike.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Compressive Strength
  • Delayed-Action Preparations / chemistry*
  • Fentanyl / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Kaolin / chemistry*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Pyridines / administration & dosage*
  • Zolpidem


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Polymers
  • Pyridines
  • Kaolin
  • Zolpidem
  • Fentanyl