Amorphous solid dispersions and nano-crystal technologies for poorly water-soluble drug delivery

Int J Pharm. 2013 Aug 30;453(1):157-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2013.05.061. Epub 2013 Jun 7.


Poor water-solubility is a common characteristic of drug candidates in pharmaceutical development pipelines today. Various processes have been developed to increase the solubility, dissolution rate and bioavailability of these active ingredients belonging to BCS II and IV classifications. Over the last decade, nano-crystal delivery forms and amorphous solid dispersions have become well established in commercially available products and industry literature. This article is a comparative analysis of these two methodologies primarily for orally delivered medicaments. The thermodynamic and kinetic theories relative to these technologies are presented along with marketed product evaluations and a survey of commercial relevant scientific literature.

Keywords: Amorphous solid dispersions; Nano-crystal; Nanoparticles; Poorly water-soluble drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Solubility
  • Water / chemistry


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Water