The primary goal of our research in this area is to design crystalline particles with the desired quality, i.e. physico-chemical properties such as purity, polymorphic form, size, crystal perfection and shape. Each of these characteristics can affect the chemical and physical properties of the solid. For instance, it is essential to consistently produce one particular crystal form to ensure that the bioavailability and stability of the drug substance are uniform. Polymorphs may also differ considerably with respect to processing characteristics such as compaction behaviour, powder flow properties, and chemical reactivity. The control of the crystal shape is also vital, because particle morphology can affect post-crystallization processes such as drying, filtration, and milling. Therefore, the keys to engineering particles with customized quality lie in understanding and controlling
nucleation and crystal growth processes. Our strategy to achieve this is based on carefully planed studies and implementation of most advanced experimental, computational and theoretical tools. In addition, most of our experimental is designed to mimic to a considerable extent the real industrial crystallisation processes.
Current Research Themes
• A Time-resolved and Small Angle X-ray Scattering and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering and (SAXS/WAXS) Study of Calcium Carbonate Batch Precipitation
• In-situ Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Laser Interferometry Studies of Interfaces in Pharmaceutical crystals
• Influence of Oscillatory Flow Mixing on the Crystal Perfection of High Quality Pharmaceutical Precipitates
• Influence of a Chiral L-phenylalanine on the Morphology of α –Glycine Amino Acid
• Ultrasound Stimulated Crystallisation of Polymorphic Materials
In parallel, we are developing two new research avenues of equal academic and commercial significance in cooperation with Chemistry, Physics and Automatic Control Departments:
• Nano and Meso-scale Studies of Crystal Growth Interfaces for High Purity Crystalline Products
• Experimental Studies, Identification and Modelling of Pattern Formation at Far-from-Equilibrium Conditions
Apart from our collaboration at the inter-departmental level, we have also close links with research groups of Prof K. Sato at Hiroshima University, Japan, and Dr J.J. DeYoreo at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA.