Advances in Polymer Design for Enhancing Oral Drug Solubility and Delivery

Jeffrey M. Ting, William W. Porter, Jodi M. Mecca, Frank S Bates, Theresa M Reineke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Synthetic polymers have enabled amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) to emerge as an oral delivery strategy for overcoming poor drug solubility in aqueous environments. Modern ASD products noninvasively treat a range of chronic diseases (for example, hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, and HIV). In such formulations, polymeric carriers generate and maintain drug supersaturation upon dissolution, increasing the apparent drug solubility to enhance gastrointestinal barrier absorption and oral bioavailability. In this Review, we outline several approaches in designing polymeric excipients to drive interactions with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in spray-dried ASDs, highlighting polymer-drug formulation guidelines from industrial and academic perspectives. Special attention is given to new commercial and specialized polymer design strategies that can solubilize highly hydrophobic APIs and suppress the propensity for rapid drug recrystallization. These molecularly customized excipients and hierarchical excipient assemblies are promising toward informing early-stage drug-discovery development and reformulating existing API candidates into potentially lifesaving oral medicines for our growing global population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-952
Number of pages14
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 18 2018

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

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