Materials science tetrahedron - A useful tool for pharmaceutical research and development

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217 Scopus citations


The concept of materials science tetrahedron (MST) concisely depicts the inter-dependent relationship among the structure, properties, performance, and processing of a drug. Similar to its role in traditional materials science, MST encompasses the development in the emerging field of pharmaceutical materials science and forms a scientific foundation to the design and development of new drug products. Examples are given to demonstrate the applicability of MST to both pharmaceutical research and product development. It is proposed that a systematic implementation of MST can expedite the transformation of pharmaceutical product development from an art to a science. By following the principle of MST, integration of research among different laboratories can be attained. The pharmaceutical science community as a whole can conduct more efficient, collaborative, and coherent research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1687
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Formulation
  • Materials science
  • Materials science tetrahedron
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Powder technology
  • Process development
  • Structure-property relationship


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