Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technologies

The Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technologies (PAT) unit specialises in introducing and advancing synergistic technologies that facilitate industrial drug discovery and development. Analytical technologies focus on mass spectrometry, vibrational spectroscopy (especially Raman spectroscopy) and label-free imaging for analysis of drugs, metabolites, biomolecules and excipients in diverse samples (single cells, tissue, and formulations). Pharmaceutical technologies focus on solutions to formulation challenges adversely impacting drug development, especially the manipulation of order (nanocrystalline and amorphous formulations) to improve the dissolution of poorly-soluble drugs.  The unit's principal investigators are listed below.

Prof. Strachan has two main research focuses. The first is vibrational spectroscopy, especially advanced Raman spectroscopy and coherent Raman microscopy, to better understand drugs and dosage form behaviour from production to drug delivery. The second interest involves formulation strategies for poorly water soluble drugs, especially understanding and tailoring the amorphous form for better stability and dissolution.

Clare Strachan's Unversity of Helsinki profile and contact details

Industrial pharmacy includes manufacturing, development, marketing and distribution of drug products and quality assurance of these activities. This broad research area relates to several functions in pharmaceutical industry. Research in industrial pharmacy is conducted both at the academia and in pharmaceutical industry as collaboration projects. The research can either include laborative work, interview or survey studies. The main research topics at the university are the novel formulation technologies for paediatric, elderly and veterinary patients and the stabilisation of biopharmaceuticals in freeze-dried or in spray-dried formulations.

Utilization of nanocrystallization techniques for improved solubility and higher bioavailability of poorly soluble materials. Research focus is on production of drug nanocrystals, their thorough physicochemical characterization, especially developing reliable dissolution and solubility profile testing methods, and formulation studies based on drug nanocrystals. We have the capability for both bottom-up as well as top-down methods for nanocrystallization; different production scales are available starting from batch sizes with tens of milligrams for screening purposes. We have been concentrating especially for multifunctional excipient studies for drug nanocrystals and new materials like nanocellulose, dendrimers and hydrophobins have been screened.