Pharmaceutical Technology. Coordinator: Passerini

Design, manufacturing and characterization of innovative solid drug delivery systems. Development of new technologies for the production of dosage forms (microparticles, pellets, granules, tablets and films) which can optimize the bioavailability of drugs according to the specific needs of the therapy.

Research themes

1.   Formulation design and particle-engineering technology for microparticles production.

Since two decades we have focused our attention on the spray-congealing technique as a means to produce solvent-free microparticles. The spray-congealed microparticulate drug delivery systems are suitable mainly for oral, but also for mucosal and topical administration routes. We have designed innovative drug delivery systems containing small molecules, biopharmaceutical products, herbal drugs and nutraceuticals to optimize their biovailability according to their specific therapeutical needs. Recently bio-polymeric multi-composite systems, which embed SLMs, have been developed and new applications are under investigation.

2.   Development of pediatric formulations.

The oral route is the predominant way of administration of medicines in children (2-6 years old). However the majority of oral dosage forms is designed for adult patients without considering aspects (dosing flexibility, taste, texture, color, smell, size, swallowing) important for pediatric population. We have been developed granules, mini-tablets and microparticles specifically design to overcome the aforementioned challenge. Since 2015 we are working on formulation strategies to potentially maximize the clinical efficacy of praziquantel and melatonin administered to pediatric population.

3.   Development and optimization of technological processes for manufacturing of solid dosage forms

We optimize manufacturing processes such as wet granulation, compaction and film coating, widely used in pharmaceutical industry. The processes are carried out using lab scale equipments: fluidized-bed granulators (Mini-Glatt), high shear mixer, single-punch tablet press, pan coaters.

An important part of our research involves the solid state characterization (thermal analysis, FT-IR, XRD, SEM) of the obtained drug delivery systems to correlate their physicochemical properties to the in vitro release of drugs.

The research is carried out in collaboration with national and international research groups or with industrial partners.

Lab Members

Nadia Passerini, Full Professor (e-mail)

Beatrice Albertini, Associate Professor (e-mail)

Serena Bertoni, Post-Doc 

Stefano Sangiorgi, PhD Student

Internship projects

Internship projects are mainly addressed to CTF students.

Main publications

  • Bertoni, S.; Passerini, N.; Albertini, B. (2021). Liquid lipids act as polymorphic modifiers of tristearin-based formulations produced by melting technologies. Pharmaceutics, 13, Article number 1089.

  • Bertoni, S.; Albertini, B.; Ferraro, L.; Beggiato, S.; Dalpiaz, A.; Passerini, N. (2019). Exploring the use of spray congealing to produce solid dispersions with enhanced indomethacin bioavailability: In vitro characterization and in vivo study. Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 139, 132-141.

  • Albertini, B., Perissutti, B. Bertoni, S., Zanolla, D., Franceschinis, E., Voinovich, D., Lombardo, F., Keiser, J., Passerini, N. (2019). Combining mechanochemistry and spray congealing for new praziquantel pediatric formulations in schistosomiasis treatment, Int. J. Mol. Sci., 20 (5), Article number 1233.

  • Bertoni, S., Albertini, B., Dolci, L.S., Passerini, N. (2018). Spray congealed lipid microparticles for the local delivery of β-galactosidase to the small intestine. Eur. J. Pharm. Biopharm., 132, 1-10.

  • Albertini, B., Bertoni, S., Melegari, C., Dolci, L.S., Passerini, N. (2017). A novel approach for dry powder coating of pellets with Ethylcellulose. Part I: Evaluation of film formulation and process set up. Int. J. Pharm. 516 (1-2), 380-391.