Contact person:
Sabrina Valetti
  • The Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen)
Responsible at Malmö University:
Sabrina Valetti
Project members:
  • Nanologica AB
  • Orexo AB
  • CTC Clinical Trial Consultants AB
Time frame:
01 September 2017 - 05 July 2020
Research environment :
Research subject:

Introduction, challeges and opportunities

Upon the administration of a medicine, the active pharmaceutical ingredient (also called drug) that is responsible for the therapeutic effects needs to cross several biological barriers before reaching the tissue/cell target in order to carry its healing action. In some cases, only a small portion of the drug reaches the therapeutic target, while the rest distributes in healthy tissues. This compromises the therapy and frequently causes undesired adverse effects. In pharmaceutical technology, there is an urgent need to rationally design new drug delivery systems that can effectively improve the existing medicines and provide patient benefits.

In this context, nanoporous silica particles (NSPs) have emerged as a promising material with unique specific properties that may be utilized in pharmaceutical technology as a functional excipient to enhance drug bioavailability (Figure 1).1, 2 Noteworthy, NSP consist of amorphous silicon dioxide which has G.R.A.S. (Generally Regarded As Safe) status from the FDA as excipient in oral pharmaceutical dosages (oral capsules, suspensions and tablets, transdermal, rectal and vaginal preparations)


Project aim and scientific questions addressed

This project will challenge the hypothesis that NSP can add value to pharmaceutical formulations and ultimately provide patient benefits. To this aim, this work will encompass a deep fundamental study focused on the interactions between the NSP-drug pharmaceutical formulation(s) and biological interfaces. The research activities will address several scientific questions and solve the complex scenario comprising NSPs, drug(s), pharmaceutical excipients and physiological environment.

Project implementation and expected results

The main project work will be carried out at Biofilms - Research Center for Biointerfaces at Malmö University. Biofilms is a leading research centre with extensive expertise on interactions at biological interfaces. Three swedish industrial partners (CTC Clinical Trial Consultants AB, Nanologica AB and Orexo AB) will actively contribute to the project and provide guidance towards the NSP-drug pharmaceutical and its clinical application.

We believe that this project will advance an innovative drug delivery technology towards clinical prospective. In parallel, this fundamental study and the scientific questions addressed herein will prove highly valuable to the scientific community in pharmaceutical technology.


1. Valetti, S.; Xia, X.; Costa-Gouveia, J.; Brodin, P.; Bernet-Camard, M.-F.; Andersson, M.; Feiler, A. Nanomedicine 2017, 12, (8), 831-844.
2. Stjern, L.; Voittonen, S.; Weldemichel, R.; Thuresson, S.; Agnes, M.; Benkovics, G.; Fenyvesi, É.; Malanga, M.; Yannakopoulou, K.; Feiler, A.; Valetti, S. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 2017.