Screening for Polymorphs of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

Chemical compounds often exist in multiple crystalline forms, called polymorphs. Polymorphs have the same composition, but other properties differ. In many fields, conditions for crystallization are screened exhaustively to generate as many polymorphs as possible, from which the most advantageous form can be selected. In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, the most desirable polymorphs of drugs may be those with high or low solubility in water (to control bioavailability), the greatest thermodynamic stability (to prevent conversion into a more stable form), or a tendency to crystallize in particular shapes (to facilitate handling or formulation). When a previously unknown polymorph is made, it can be patented as a new form of matter. The research group of James Wuest at the Université de Montréal has devised new ways to screen for polymorphs, using techniques called mixed-crystal seeding and suspended-melt crystallization. These methods and others will be used to screen for new polymorphs of specific active pharmaceutical ingredients and other solids of commercial importance in a collaboration between the Wuest group and an industrial partner, Crystal Pharmaceutica

Jessica Patel
Superviseur universitaire: 
James Wuest
Partner University: