**Dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) is a prerequisite to absorption and clinical efficacy when drugs are administrated orally. APIs with poor water solubility have slow dissolution rates, leading to erratic and incomplete absorption and low bioavailability. Within the last two decades, co-crystallisation has emerged as an essential strategy to tackle this challenge. A pharmaceutical co-crystal is a multi-component crystal, comprising two or more compounds (one compound is API and the others are co-formers) that are solid under ambient conditions. In spite of the approved benefits of the physicochemical properties of the co-crystals, e.g. improved solubility and dissolution rates, the process of transforming co-crystals into commercial drug products by meeting the in vivo requirements of pharmacokinetics is not straightforward. Advanced digital design techniques based on predictive models have the potential to facilitate the decision making of co-crystallised API formulations, and accelerate the product reaching the market quickly and cost-effectively.
This multidisciplinary project, funded by the EPSRC in collaboration with five industrial partners, will develop a unique multiscale modelling tool, spanning micro to macroscales, to design and manufacture better quality co-crystal products. The successful PhD candidate will work with Professor Mingzhong Li [http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/academic-staff/health-and-life-sciences/mingzhong-li/mingzhong-li.aspx] at De Montfort University (DMU), to explore different experimental and modelling techniques, such as atomic force microspy (AFM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), molecular dynamics modelling (MD), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and population balance modelling (PBM).