Single-step coprecipitation and coating to prepare curcumin formulations by supercritical fluid technology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Centre for Formulation Engineering
  • University of Birmingham


Common strategies to improve the dissolution properties of hydrophobic drug compounds include the preparation of composites with hydrophilic excipients and/or size reduction. However, nanoparticles have poor flowability and difficult handling. Therefore, this work aims to demonstrate the single-step improvement of dissolution and flow properties of pharmaceutical formulations. Coprecipitates of curcumin and poly (vinyl pyrrolidone) (guest particles) are simultaneously produced and coated onto microcrystalline cellulose (MCC, 175 μm), corn starch (15 μm) and lactose (< 5 μm) (host particles), by combining the Supercritical Antisolvent process with two different configurations of fluidized bed (tapered bed and stirred vessel). Experiments were performed at 40 °C, 9−12 MPa, 2.5–30.0 % guest/host mass ratio and stirrer speed varying from 400 to 1200 rpm. SEM images demonstrated that nanoparticles of coprecipitates were obtained while DSC results showed that they were amorphous, explaining the remarkable improvement in dissolution achieved. Free-flowing powder was obtained when MCC was used.


Original languageEnglish
Article number104758
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Coating, Coprecipitation, Curcumin, High-pressure fluidization, Process integration, Supercritical antisolvent