Supercritical Antisolvent – SAS

The Supercritical Anti Solvent technique is a very flexible technique for the micronization of pharmaceutical and natural compounds. The technique is based in putting into contact an organic solution with supercritical carbon dioxide. During mixing, SC-CO2 is quickly dissolved in the organic solution, causing the precipitation of solutes by antisolvent effect. Afterwards, SC-CO2 efficiently extracts the organic solvent, allowing to obtain completely solvent-free products.

Supercritical Antisolvent technology – diagram

SAS processing can also be used to encapsulate or co-precipitate different active compounds and carrier materials, thus producing microcomposites and microcapsules.

SEM picture of microparticles obtained by SAS

In SAS process, the kinetics of the precipitation process can be accurately controlled. In some cases, this allows a controlled production of different crystalline polymorphs or of amorphous particles, a very interesting feature for commercial applications of the technique.

Over the last 15 years, we have studied the application of SAS precipitation to a large variety of materials, including natural compounds such as carotenoids, quercetin, caffeine or herb extracts, pharmaceuticals such as ibuprofen or mandelic acid, inorganic materials such as hydrides, or polymers such as poly ethylene glycol, poly lactic acid or pluronic copolymers.

Recent updates of our progress with this technique can be found in posts of Miriam Rueda and Vanessa Gonsalves.

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