Early development drug formulation on a chip: fabrication of nanoparticles using a microfluidic spray dryer

Lab Chip. 2011 Jul 21;11(14):2362-8. doi: 10.1039/c1lc20298g. Epub 2011 May 26.


Early development drug formulation is exacerbated by increasingly poor bioavailability of potential candidates. Prevention of attrition due to formulation problems necessitates physicochemical analysis and formulation studies at a very early stage during development, where the availability of a new substance is limited to small quantities, thus impeding extensive experiments. Miniaturization of common formulation processes is a strategy to overcome those limitations. We present a versatile technique for fabricating drug nanoformulations using a microfluidic spray dryer. Nanoparticles are formed by evaporative precipitation of the drug-loaded spray in air at room temperature. Using danazol as a model drug, amorphous nanoparticles of 20-60 nm in diameter are prepared with a narrow size distribution. We design the device with a geometry that allows the injection of two separate solvent streams, thus enabling co-spray drying of two substances for the production of drug co-precipitates with tailor-made composition for optimization of therapeutic efficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Danazol / chemistry*
  • Drug Compounding / instrumentation
  • Drug Compounding / methods*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Miniaturization
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Pressure
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Temperature


  • Solvents
  • Danazol