(472c) Molecular Interactions between Nanocellulose and Crystallizing Pharmaceuticals | AIChE

(472c) Molecular Interactions between Nanocellulose and Crystallizing Pharmaceuticals


Brettmann, B. K. - Presenter, Georgia Institute of Technology
Cellulose is a highly abundant natural polymer that, being a plant-based material, exhibits renewability and biodegradability. It is frequently used in the form of microcrystalline cellulose as a filler and binder in pharmaceutical tablets. A nanoscale form of cellulose can be prepared by removing much of the amorphous cellulose material and leaving small crystalline particles with a large concentration of hydrogen bonding groups on the surface. Due to its strong hydrogen bonding tendency and the presence of charges on the nanocellulose surface, it has the potential to bind with drug molecules and act as a release inhibitor, a stabilizer or a site for heterogeneous crystallization of the drug itself. Beyond hydrogen bonding and charge, however, the nanocellulose surface can be readily altered to display a variety of functional groups, leading to flexibility for rational design of nanocellulose-drug composites. We use nanocellulose functionalization, such as carboxylation and sulfonation, to design composites containing nanocellulose and crystallized pharmaceutical products, with an aim towards using the molecular interactions between nanocellulose and drugs to direct formation of desired polymorphs and crystal sizes. The high surface area of the nanocellulose provides a high concentration of interaction sites and the small size of the nanocellulose excipient particles has interesting performance in promoting assembly and packing of the composite in drug products such as compressed tablets and dense free standing films.