WELCOME TO THE HOME PAGE OF THE MOLECULAR PHARMACEUTICS LABORATORY
Developing drugs of future using futuristic technologies
Dr Dritan Hasa graduated in 2009 in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Trieste, with a final project thesis entitled “On the mechanochemical activation of solid dispersions containing Vinpocetine”. In 2013, at the same University he obtained a PhD in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science and Technology under the supervision of Prof Dario Voinovich. His PhD thesis dealt with mechanochemically induced defects in molecular crystals and the production of sustained drug delivery systems using the hot melt extrusion technology. He spent one year as postdoctoral researcher working on a project that involved industrial partners. Subsequently, Dritan moved at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, where he spent more than two years as part of the materials chemistry group led by Professor William Jones. He investigated new applications of pharmaceutical polymeric materials for promoting crystallization and controlling polymorphism in the solid state. In March 2017, Dritan joined the Leicester School of Pharmacy as Vice-Chancellor Lecturer of Pharmaceutics where he progressed at the Senior Lecturer level in August 2018. From November 2019, Dr Dritan Hasa returned at the University of Trieste as an Assistant Professor in the Pharmaceutical Technologies Group, part of the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has been also a visiting scientist at the University College Cork and at the University of Dusseldorf (Germany). Dr Dritan Hasa is co-author of 31 scientific papers published in high-impact factor peer-reviewed journals, and has already been invited speaker in different national and international conferences. In 2019 he was listed among 21 emerging Investigators (https://axial.acs.org/2019/03/13/emerging-investigators-in-crystal-growth-design/) in Crystal Growth & Design, a specialised journal of the American Chemical Society.
From crystalline to amorphous and return
SCREENING AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MULTICOMPONENT FUNCTIONAL CRYSTALLINE SOLIDS
The use of polymers during the solvent-free preparation of multicomponent crystalline solids represents an innovative combination of three key topics namely polymer chemistry, crystal engineering and solid-state chemistry. Polymers can be extremely useful for the stabilization of the elusive polymorphic forms The modification of the crystal size can affect the thermodynamic properties of a system, and lead to the stabilization of totally different structures under the constraint of small particle size It is possible to select the specific polymer which can act both as an efficient catalyst for the solid state reaction and, at the same time be biocompatible.
SOLVENT FREE PHARMACEUTICAL TECHNOLOGIES
The discovery of advanced functional solids, joint with the need for sustainability, will inevitably lead to an increase in processes which are cost-effective and have lower environmental demands. Indeed, some of the major problems related to the preparation of advanced functional pharmaceuticals concern the multistage process and excessive amounts of solvent needed. Our objective is to produce innovative materials of pharmaceutical interest using solvent free methods such as ball milling for lab-scale studies scaling up via extrusion technology.
AMORPHOUS AND CO-AMORPHOUS SOLIDS
The transformation of active pharmaceutical ingredients from crystalline into amorphous offers potentially limitless possibilities for improving their biopharmaceutical characteristics. Such process, however, currently presents three main difficulties namely 1) poor understanding of the amorphization tendency of a specific molecule, 2) difficulty on characterizing a (truly) amorphous material (i.e. absence of nanocrystalline “seeds”) and 3) thermodynamic instability and recrystallization tendency during processing, storage and dissolution. Some (frequently used) current approaches for tackling one (or more) of these challenges would consist on polymeric dispersion or co-amorphization with another molecule. Additionally, the choice of a suitable polymer of co-former is still based on a “trial-and-error” approach. We are exploring new molecular recognition approaches for prolonging the stability of multicomponent amorphous solids. We are also developing new technologies for the advanced characterization of amorphous molecular solids.
FORMULATION AND PROCESSING OF BIOACTIVES
Nature provides us almost everything. Specifically to bioactive compounds, plant materials contain a variety of valuable substances, and the extraction, processing and formulation of such molecules is one of the most important research areas in the modern pharmaceutical industry. Currently, the main industrial approaches depend on conventional solvent-based technologies. We focus on the development of alternative green methods that would allow the selective extraction and formulation of the desired bioactive compound by using little or no solvents.
NEWS, FEATURES, AND RECENT RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
We are always interested in new academic collaborations and in applying our research to solving real world problems for industries!
Prospective studies also welcome.
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Trieste
Edificio Centrale, Room 161
Piazzale Europa 1
+39 040 558 3987