Lust, Andres

Lust, Andres
Institute of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia

Dr. Andres Lust received his MSc (Pharm) degree in 2010 and PhD (Pharm) in 2015 at the University of Tartu, Estonia. The title of his PhD thesis is “Water mediated solid state transformations of a polymorphic drug – effect on pharmaceutical product performance”. In 2012, he received a research mobility grant from the Academy of Finland and has also acted as a researcher in several other scientific research projects. His main research areas are Pharmaceutical technology and Physical pharmacy, and the current research interests include e.g., solid-state properties of pharmaceutical substances, phase transformations, drug-excipient interactions, and electrospraying/spinning as nanofabrication techniques. Currently, Dr. Lust is acting as a Research Fellow and Scientist in the Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tartu.

Melt electrospinning of fibers from the molten mixtures of a carrier material and drug

Electrospinning is a one-step continuous process in which an electrical field is used to “draw very fine fibers from a viscous solution, suspension, or molten material. Electrospinning has been used for fabrication of medicinal scaffoldings and amorphous solid dispersions of carrier polymers and active pharmaceutical ingredients [1]. The drawback of electrospinning from the polymeric solvent systems is that organic solvents used are usually toxic or harmful. Melt electrospinning can directly produce polymer nanofibers at elevated temperatures, thus avoiding the use of expensive and hazardous solvents. However, only few studies have used this technique to date [2].

The aim of the present study was to develop melt electrospinning methods applicable for preparing microfibers composing of a binary or ternary mixture of drug and polymer(s) or sugar(s). The ultimate goal was to improve the overall solubility and dissolution rate of a poorly water-soluble drug (indomethacin as a model drug). It is expected that the increased surface area of the fibers and rendering the material amorphous will have a positive effect on the dissolution characteristics of drug. The chemical stability of the materials during melt electrospinning, molecular interactions and solid-state changes were studied using a solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Raman spectroscopy and Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The morphology of the fibers was investigated with optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

[1] Paaver, U., Tamm, I., Laidmäe, I., et al. BioMed Res. Int.1-7 (2014)
[2]. Nagy, Z. K., Balogh, A., Drávavölgyi, G., et al. J. Pharm. Sci. 102, 508-517 (2013)