Cyclodextrins are cyclic molecules made up of multiple glucose units linked together. They come in three forms: alpha-, beta-, and gamma-cyclodextrin. They are formed by the action of enzymes called cyclodextrin glycosyltransferases from starch. Cyclodextrins have a hydrophobic interior and hydrophilic exterior, which makes them useful for encapsulating hydrophobic molecules in their cavity and this complexation leads to a bunch of potential uses from solubility improvement through stabilization to taste masking or side-effect mitigation. However, developing drug products with cyclodextrins is not always easy and straightforward. And who could tell us more about these challenges then Thorsteinn Loftsson, professor emeritus of pharmaceutical technology from Iceland University, who is a pioneer in this specific area and has several decades of pragmatic experience.
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