Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP) is a scalable, single-step process that uses rapid mixing to prepare nanoparticles with a hydrophobic core and amphiphilic stabilizing shell. Because the two steps of particle self-assembly – (1) core nucleation and growth and (2) adsorption of a stabilizing polymer onto the growing core surface – occur simultaneously during FNP, nanoparticles formulated at core loadings above approximately 70% typically exhibit poor stability or do not form at all. Additionally, a fundamental limit on the concentration of total solids that can be introduced into the FNP process has been reported previously. These limits are believed to share a common mechanism: entrainment of the stabilizing polymer into the growing particle core, leading to destabilization and aggregation. Here, we demonstrate a variation of FNP which separates the nucleation and stabilization steps of particle formation into separate sequential mixers. This scheme allows the hydrophobic core to nucleate and grow in the first mixing chamber unimpeded by adsorption of the stabilizing polymer, which is later introduced to the growing nuclei in the second mixer. Using this Sequential Flash NanoPrecipitation (SNaP) technique, we formulate stable nanoparticles with up to 90% core loading by mass and at 6-fold higher total input solids concentrations than typically reported.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science