Electrohydrodynamic atomisation (EHDA) technologies have evolved significantly over the past decade; branching into several established and emerging healthcare remits through timely advances in the engineering sciences and tailored conceptual process designs. More specifically for pharmaceutical and drug delivery spheres, electrospraying (ES) has presented itself as a high value technique enabling a plethora of different particulate structures. However, when coupled with novel formulations (e.g. co-flows) and innovative device aspects (e.g., materials and dimensions), core characteristics of particulates are manipulated and engineered specifically to deliver an application driven need, which is currently lacking, ranging from imaging and targeted delivery to controlled release and sensing. This demonstrates the holistic nature of these emerging technologies; which is often overlooked. Parametric driven control during particle engineering via the ES method yields opportunistic properties when compared to conventional methods, albeit at ambient conditions (e.g., temperature and pressure), making this extremely valuable for sensitive biologics and molecules of interest. Furthermore, several processing (e.g., flow rate, applied voltage and working distance) and solution (e.g., polymer concentration, electrical conductivity and surface tension) parameters impact ES modes and greatly influence the production of resulting particles. The formation of a steady cone-jet and subsequent atomisation during ES fabricates particles demonstrating monodispersity (or near monodispersed), narrow particle size distributions and smooth or textured morphologies; all of which are successfully incorporated in a one-step process. By following a controlled ES regime, tailored particles with various intricate structures (hollow microspheres, nanocups, Janus and cell-mimicking nanoparticles) can also be engineered through process head modifications central to the ES technique (single-needle spraying, coaxial, multi-needle and needleless approaches). Thus, intricate formulation design, set-up and combinatorial engineering of the EHDA process delivers particulate structures with a multitude of applications in tissue engineering, theranostics, bioresponsive systems as well as drug dosage forms for specific delivery to diseased or target tissues. This advanced technology has great potential to be implemented commercially, particularly on the industrial scale for several unmet pharmaceutical and medical challenges and needs. This review focuses on key seminal developments, ending with future perspectives addressing obstacles that need to be addressed for future advancement. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.]
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Royal Society is gratefully acknowledged for their support by Zeeshan Ahmad. The EPSRC are also acknowledged in-part for their support in establishing the EHDA network.
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.
- Core-shell micro/nano particles
- Dosage design
- Drug delivery systems
- Electrohydrodynamic atomisation (EHDA)
- Particle engineering