Advantages Of Lyophilization
Have you ever hanged your washed and wet clothes out in winter? If you have enough patience, you will find a flat piece of ice appearing after a while and the clothes dry when the ice is gone. This, in fact, is called lyophilization. When people need to dry something, most of us may think of drying the thing with fire or heat, but must “drying” be accompanied by “fire”, or heating?
Not necessarily. Water is made up of water molecules, as long as these “water molecules” run away, things will dry out. Heating will speed up the movement of molecules. But as what have mentioned at the beginning of the text, the clothes hung out are not heated. So today’s topic is about lyophilization, and advantages of lyophilization will be fully discussed.
To understand the advantages of lyophilization, we should first take a look at its operation conditions and side effects of heating.
In the frozen state, the drying speed is very slow, but that is the ordinary condition. Manufacturers of lyophilizers need to speed up this process — the simplest and straightforward way is to evacuate. Under vacuum conditions, there are no molecules in the air — nature hates this state most, it will urge all molecules to escape from the vacuum and turn into gases. Even by doing so, the efficiency can not be compared with heating, so why not heating?
That is because heating can not only make water molecules more active but also make other molecules dissolved in the water at the same time. Some particularly fine molecular structures, such as EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), or some medicinal proteins, lose their unique structure after a little heating and become useless. Therefore, one of the advantages of lyophilization is to keep the molecule’s activity.
Of course, for the pharmaceutical industry, the advantages of lyophilization can also be reflected in other aspects. For example, some molecules must be designed in a special shape according to medical requirements, and retain this “form”. Rapid freezing uses “lyophilization” to keep their structure intact (like a small insect sealed in amber). Retaining the molecular structure is one of the advantages of lyophilization. When it is needed, using the distilled water to dissolve it immediately to ensure maximum efficacy. Super solubility is another advantage of lyophilization.
Advantages of lyophilization also have a clue in the cosmetics industry. To be honest, the use of vacuum freeze drying machine in skincare is a bit of a “using a steam-hammer to crack nuts ” — though it is a bit wasteful, if used properly, the effect is quite good. lyophilization of vitamin C is quite an example. It is impossible to use the strongest ability of lyophilization (maintain the function structure of biological macromolecules) in the making of vitamin C. But this tech can reduce the loss of vitamin C during the production process since it can turn vitamin C into not-easily-oxidized powder. And because it is a “lyophilized powder”, the dissolution rate is very fast. Minimizing the loss of effective constitutes is the biggest advantage of lyophilization in the cosmetics industry.