Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP), introduced in 2003 by Johnson and Prud’homme, revolutionized nanoparticle creation with its swift mixing and precipitation method. This article explores the evolution of FNP technology and its wide-ranging applications across various fields.
The FNP Process
- Innovative Method: FNP swiftly mixes hydrophobic molecules and amphiphilic polymers in an organic solvent with an aqueous anti-solvent stream.
- Key Activities: It involves nucleation and aggregation of the hydrophobic active and adsorption of the stabilizing polymer, controlling nanoparticle size.
Mixer Evolution and Scalability
- Original Mixer Design: Confined impinging jet (CIJ) mixer facilitated small-batch production, while the multi-inlet vortex mixer (MIVM) allows for larger-scale formulations.
- Stability and Size Control: Both mixers show similar nanoparticle sizes and distributions, crucial for seamless formulation development.
- Versatile Stabilizers: Polystyrene-block-polyethylene glycol (PS-b-PEG) offers stability and favorable biological properties.
- Surface Charge Modification: Adjusting surface charge aids in targeting specific tissues, crucial for diverse applications.
Applications in Oral Delivery Formulations
- Enhanced Bioavailability: FNP encapsulates hydrophobic drugs like clofazimine, improving solubility and dissolution rates, crucial for rapid treatment.
Applications in Medical Imaging
- Improved Imaging Sensitivity: FNP enables encapsulation of water-insoluble contrast agents, enhancing imaging sensitivity and facilitating precise diagnostics.
Applications in Targeting Specific Cell Types
- Precision Delivery: Affixing targeting ligands to nanocarriers enhances delivery precision, crucial for both therapy and diagnostics.
Encapsulation of Water-Soluble Actives
- Inverse FNP and HIP: Methods like iFNP and hydrophobic ion pairing (HIP) broaden FNP’s capability to encapsulate hydrophilic APIs.
FNP stands as a versatile platform technology, continuously evolving to broaden applications and enhance processes. From drug delivery to medical imaging, its impact on nanomedicine is profound and promising.
This comprehensive exploration underscores FNP's significance and its potential to drive further innovations in nanoparticle-based therapies and diagnostics.