Mitali Kakran, Singapore finalist

Mitali Kakran was born in 1986 in India. She graduated from The Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) with First Class Honors from the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, majoring in Bioengineering in 2008.

She started her PhD in August 2008 at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her current research interests include fabrication of micro- and nanoparticles for pharmaceutical applications, with the main aim to enhance the bioavailability of the drugs by improving their aqueous dissolution rate or by targeted delivery of the drug compounds.



Nanosized and nanocoated drug particles for enhanced bioavailability of poorly water soluble drugs

The automation of the drug discovery process is leading to a vast number of drugs possessing very good efficacy. Unfortunately, many of these drugs exhibit poor water solubility. Poorly water soluble drugs tend to be eliminated from the gastrointestinal tract before they get dissolved fully and  absorbed into the blood circulation; resulting in low bioavailability and poor dose proportionality.

Increasing the solubility and dissolution rate of poorly water soluble drugs to maximise drug absorption is a significant challenge to the pharmaceutical industry. To enhance the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs, physical modifications like increasing surface area, solubility and wettability of the drug particles can be used. Particle size reduction of the drugs will significantly increase the specific surface area and subsequently the dissolution rate. An increase in amorphous nature also increases the dissolution rate.

To prevent aggregation of nanoparticles, steric stabilisation is achieved by adsorbing polymers onto the particle surface. A hydrophilic polymeric layer surrounding the drug particles allows for more rapid and more extensive wetting of the available particle surface area.

In this work, a novel evaporative precipitation of nanosuspension (EPN) process has been developed for producing drug nanoparticles and those individually coated with a hydrophilic polymer. The prepared nanoparticles are more amorphous in nature, and exhibit enhanced dissolution.


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