In this work, an important step is taken towards the bioavailability improvement of poorly water-soluble drugs, such as flubendazole (Flu), posing a challenge in the current development of many novel oral-administrable therapeutics. Solvent electrospinning of a solution of the drug and poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) is demonstrated to be a viable strategy to produce stable nanofibrous amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) with ultrahigh drug-loadings (up to 55 wt% Flu) and long-term stability (at least one year). Importantly, at such high drug loadings, the concentration of the polymer in the electrospinning solution has to be lowered below the concentration where it can be spun in absence of the drug as the interactions between the polymer and the drug result in increased solution viscosity. A combination of experimental analysis and molecular dynamics simulations revealed that this formulation strategy provides strong, dominant and highly stable hydrogen bonds between the polymer and the drug, which is crucial to obtain the high drug-loadings and to preserve the long-term amorphous character of the ASDs upon storage. In vitro drug release studies confirm the remarkable potential of this electrospinning formulation strategy by significantly increased drug solubility values and dissolution rates (respectively tripled and quadrupled compared to the crystalline drug), even after storing the formulation for one year.
Structurally characterizing new materials is tremendously challenging, especially when single crystal structures are hardly available which is often the case for covalent organic frameworks. Yet, knowledge of the atomic structure is key to establish structure‐function relations and enable functional material design. Herein a new protocol is proposed to unambiguously predict the structure of poorly crystalline materials through a likelihood ordering based on the X‐ray diffraction (XRD) pattern. Key of the procedure is the broad set of structures generated from a limited number of building blocks and topologies, which is submitted to operando structural characterization. The dynamic averaging in the latter accounts for the operando conditions and inherent temporal character of experimental measurements, yielding unparalleled agreement with experimental powder XRD patterns. The proposed concept can hence unquestionably identify the structure of experimentally synthesized materials, a crucial step to design next generation functional materials.
Photocatalytic reduction of molecular oxygen is a promising route toward sustainable production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This challenging process requires photoactive semiconductors enabling solar energy driven generation and separation of electrons and holes with high charge transfer kinetics. Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are an emerging class of photoactive semiconductors, tunable at a molecular level for high charge carrier generation and transfer. Herein, we report two newly designed two-dimensional COFs based on a (diarylamino)benzene linker that forms a Kagome (kgm) lattice and shows strong visible light absorption. Their high crystallinity and large surface areas (up to 1165 m2·g−1) allow efficient charge transfer and diffusion. The diarylamine (donor) unit promotes strong reduction properties, enabling these COFs to efficiently reduce oxygen to form H2O2. Overall, the use of a metal-free, recyclable photocatalytic system allows efficient photocatalytic solar transformations.