The modifying effect of supramolecular gel fibres on the diffusion of paracetamol and ibuprofen sodium on the picosecond timescale

Robert M. Edkins, Markus Appel, Tilo Seydel, Katharina Edkins

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Employing neutron spectroscopy, we follow the tracer diffusion of two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug molecules, paracetamol (PCM) and ibuprofen sodium (IBU), in a supramolecular gel and the corresponding bulk solution. Both solutes show altered diffusion behaviour in the gel phase, deviating from each other and their bulk solution. Whilst picosecond diffusion of IBU is slightly quicker in the gel, this effect is significantly increased for PCM, which is up to 70% quicker in the gel than in solution.This effect is independent of changes in the solvent diffusion reported previously. An increased residence time of PCM in solution at lower temperatures points towards the onset of nucleation and crystallisation. This work reports one of the first experiments on the novel Backscattering and Time-of-Flight option (BATS) on the IN16B spectrometer at the Institut Laue-Langevin, France, which with its range and resolution in neutron energy and momentum transfer is ideally suited to observe this type of diffusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10838-10844
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number19
Early online date20 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2020


  • supramolecular gels
  • diffusion
  • paracetamol
  • ibuprofen

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