Engineering tiny particles to produce big breakthroughs

U.S. drug manufacturing is poised to be transformed. The key is engineering at the nano level.

The work of NJIT’s Rajesh Davé spans disciplines. A distinguished professor of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical engineering, Dr. Davé is an award-winning researcher whose work has led to faster-burning rocket fuels, safer weapons, and better and more efficiently made products as disparate as cement, cookies, fuel and sunscreen.

No work, however, has been more important than his effort to make more targeted and precise medications.

A pioneer in re-engineering tiny particles, Dr. Davé’s research today focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of drug therapies — for example, by increasing the absorption rates of drugs with poor water solubility, by delaying the release of medications that degrade in the acidic environment of the stomach, and by masking bitter tastes to make drugs more palatable.

Last year, Dr. Davé received his ninth patent for a manufacturing process to coat fine particles that does not require water, organic solvents or heat. Developed with former NJIT students who are also named on the patent, the technology has been licensed by a global health care company. The coating in this instance is a fine layer of wax that will be used to mask bitter tastes.

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Rajesh Davé
Rajesh DavéDistinguished Professor of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Newark College of Engineering

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