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Nano Lett. 2007 May;7(5):1381-5. Epub 2007 Apr 17.

Manipulating the crystalline state of pharmaceuticals by nanoconfinement.

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Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Physik, D-06099 Halle/Saale, Germany. beiner@


We show that nanoconfinement is a handle to rationally produce and stabilize otherwise metastable or transient polymorphs of pharmaceuticals, as required for controllable and efficient drug delivery. The systematic investigation of crystallization under confinement unveils thermodynamic properties of metastable polymorphs not accessible otherwise and may enhance the understanding of the crystallization behavior of pharmaceuticals in general. As an example in this case, we studied acetaminophen confined to inexpensive and biocompatible nanoporous host systems. Calorimetric and X-ray scattering data clearly evidence that either the stable polymorph form I or the metastable polymorph form III can be stabilized in high yields. Thermodynamic parameters for form III of acetaminophen are reported, and strategies to manipulate the crystalline state in pores by thermal treatments are presented.

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