Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Topics in Applied Chemistry

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION 1. Chemistry of Drug Molecules: functional group characteristics and roles, identifying acidic and basic functional groups, ionisation of drugs, solubility of drugs and their salts, partition coefficient, stereochemistry, crystal structure, drug binding.

2. Drugs as particulate solids: Fundamental properties - particle size and particle size distribution, particle dissolution and dissolution rate - and derived properties - porosity, packaging arrangement, density, flow properties.

3. Drugs in formulations: Application of physical chemistry in the formulation and manufacture of solutions, suspensions, emulsion, capsules and tablets.

4. Drug stability: Mechanisms of instability of drugs in dosage forms, factors affecting drug stability, application of principles of kinetics in stability studies to determine the shelf life of medicinal products.

Study-Unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to provide students with an understanding of the chemical properties relevant to the stability and functioning of drugs and medicinal products.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify the individual functional groups that comprise the structure of a given drug molecule;
- Explain the general purpose of functional groups and provide specific examples of how functional groups affect drug activity;
- Analyse the electronic, solubility and steric effects that an individual functional group can impart to a specific drug molecule;
- Identify acidic and basic functional groups in the structure of a drug molecule;
- Explain how the pH of a given environment and the pKa of a given functional group can influence the solubility, duration of action, and binding properties of a drug molecule, and prevent or contribute to a drug interaction;
- Explain both the beneficial and detrimental effects that the major types of covalent bonds can have on the activity of drug molecules;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the basic physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical materials and apply mathematical expressions in relation to chemical and pharmaceutical systems;
- Describe the key physico-chemical factors that influence the properties of drug molecules and their solids and liquid dosage forms;
- Describe how powder properties such as particle size, density, flow and dissolution are measured;
- Explain the fundamentals of dosage form design and the principles of the manufacture of medicines;
- Explain the nature and magnitude of the impact of the kinetics of reactions upon shelf life of pharmaceutical substances and formulations.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Classify a drug molecule as acidic, basic, amphoteric, an electrolyte or a non-electrolyte;
- Solve both quantitative and qualitative pH/pKa problems related to drug molecules;
- Evaluate drug structures and identify those functional groups that contribute to the water solubility and those functional groups that contribute to the lipid solubility of the compound;
- Analyse a drug molecule and identify the types of bonds that can be formed by each of its functional groups;
- Calculate the shelf life of a drug product based on the results obtained from a stability study.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

Physicochemical Principles of Pharmacy: in Manufacture, Formulation and Clinical Use, Alexander T. Florence and David Attwood, 6th ed., 2015.

Basic Concepts in Medicinal Chemistry, Marc W. Harrold and Robin M. Zavod, 1st ed., 2013.

Aulton's Pharmaceutics: The Design and Manufacture of Medicines, Michael E. Aulton and Kevin M.G. Taylor, 4th ed., 2013.

Supplementary Readings:

Martin's Physical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Patrick Sinko, 6th ed., 2011.

Essentials of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Donald Cairns, 4th ed., 2012.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 No 5%
Assignment SEM2 No 10%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 85%

LECTURER/S Claude A. Farrugia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.