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Could mesocrystals make medication more effective? - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Rajaboopathi Mani

More water soluble the drug is the faster and more effective it works. Many new drug molecules have low solubility and that could limit their effectiveness when taken by mouth.
Rajaboopathi Mani
Dr. Rajaboopathi Mani works at the School of Chemical Engineering.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship-2018 was awarded to Dr. Rajaboopathi Mani to study organic mesocrystals at Aalto University. His research project on organic mesocrystals focuses on the formation and controlling of oriented nanoparticles of molecular solids for drug development. 

“Whether we like it or not, taking medication has become part of our day-to-day activities. The drug (a pain killer) should be in the form of solution at the site of absorption for it to relieve the pain”, Mani explains. 

In this project Mani is developing a prototype to enhance the dissolution of low soluble drugs by producing mesocrystals.

The effectiveness of the drug depends on how fast the drug dissolves in our body. When the solubility is high drug works faster. Many newly developed drug molecules dissolve slowly in water. According to Mani this restricts the oral use of almost 40 percent of new drugs. 

Making drugs more soluble could actually save lives. 

“Simply: if the drug has high-solubility, the time span for example for the patients with heart attack to get the hospital may be increased.” 

The research of mesocrystals is still in an early stage. Mesocrystals form by spatially separated, self-assembled and crystallographically oriented nanoparticles. Voids in the internal structure of mesocrystals and their high surface area could enable better dissolution of many poorly soluble drugs. 

In this project, the mesocrystals strategy will be used to improve the effectiveness of some of the pain killer and cancer drugs.  

Mani has obtained his doctoral degree in Physics at Periyar University, India. He worked both on molecular solids such as cocrystals, salt and polymorphism and Terahertz materials. Part of his doctoral research work was conducted in Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland with Indo-Finnish Scholarship pool-2012. He conducted his postdoctoral research work in Shandong University, China for more than two years on phosphors for LED applications and worked as assistant professor in PRIST University, India before he moved here.

Finland has also impressed Mani with its investments into people’s wellbeing.

“I love nature and find more space there”, Mani adds. 

The research project is hosted by associate professor Marjatta Louhi Kultanen in her Chemical Engineering in Aqueous System research group. Aalto distinguished professor Maarit Karpinen from Department of Chemistry and Materials Science will offer her expertise for the materials characterization. Dr. Mani will conduct dissolution study under the guidance of associate professor Clare Strachan, Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland. 

***
Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) fund cross-border and cross-sectoral researcher mobility. The MSCA belong to the Excellent Science pillar of the three pillars of H2020. Funding is granted for all stages of a research career and to all fields of research. In the H2020 programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions will be the most important EU programme funding doctoral training. The central requirement of Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions is mobility between countries.

Horizon 2020 is the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for 2014–2020. Horizon is the successor to the EU's seventh framework programme, and it will be providing nearly €80 billion of funding for European research and innovation projects between 2014 and 2020. 

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