In the field of drug delivery, the ability to control the size, morphology, and release of drug particles is fundamental to good targeting, but is often hampered by harsh processing conditions or inadequate methods; likewise for the processing of polymeric controlled-release systems. However, the use of supercritical fluids such as supercritical CO2 (scCO2) has provided a ‘clean’ and effective alternative to traditional methods of drug and polymer processing. In particular, scCO2 has a number of unique properties that make it possible to process both bioactive molecules and amorphous polymers without using toxic organic solvents or elevated temperatures. Here, we review the positive impact that supercritical fluids have had on the micronization, encapsulation, and impregnation of molecules of interest to both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(05)71036-1