Ionic liquids in pharmaceutical applications

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

282 Citations (Scopus)


In the past several years, ionic liquids (ILs) have been at the cutting edge of the most promising science and technology. ILs not only have found applications in classical areas of knowledge but also are important candidates to solve classical problems within several societal challenges, such as clean and efficient energy, through the development of a broad swath of energy technologies, such as advanced batteries, dye-sensitized solar cells, double-layer capacitors, actuators, fuel cells, thermo-cells, and water splitting, essentially related to highly efficient carbon capture and storage technologies and resource efficiency to date. This review focuses on the application of IL methodologies to solve critical pharmaceutical problems, in particular, the low solubility and thus bioavailability of pharmaceutical compounds and the presence of polymorphs, which severely hamper the efficacy of important commercially available drugs. The development of strategies to use ILs as carriers of pharmaceutical active compounds is an extremely promising and wide avenue. Further, the synthesis of liquid salts through the discerning combination of cations and anions with several distinct pharmaceutical roles provides answers to some of today's pharmaceutical industrial challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-546
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Drug delivery
  • Ionic liquids
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Synthesis


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