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Sonomechanics Blog

Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D.

Dr. A. Peshkovsky is a co-founder and President of ISM. He is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for the company as well as for overseeing equipment and applications development. Dr. Peshkovsky holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University. He is the author of over 40 scientific papers, patents and presentations as well as two books on ultrasonic liquid processing.

Recent Posts

The Role of Carrier Oils in Water-Soluble CBD and THC Formulations

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 28, 2017 11:37:28 AM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Emulsion-based Products, Medical Cannabis

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This is a second article in the series on the principles of formulating water-compatible cannabis extracts and isolates, also known as water-soluble CBD and THC. The first article showed multiple advantages of nanoemulsions over the other two water-compatible formulation classes: microemulsions and liposomes. Here I will demonstrate the importance of using a carrier oil in your cannabis extract or isolate nanoemulsion. I will also explain how to select the proper carrier oil among the available choices.

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Water-Soluble Cannabis Oils: Microemulsion, Liposomes or Nanoemulsion?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 24, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Emulsion-based Products, Medical Cannabis

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Industrial Sonomechanics is launching a series of blog posts dedicated to describing the main principles of developing water-compatible cannabis extract formulations, also known as water-soluble CBD and THC. As explained in our earlier blog post, since medical marijuana extracts are oils and, as such, not soluble in water, they have to be specially formulated in order to become water-compatible and acquire the appearance of being water-soluble. There are three formulation classes that can provide this property: microemulsions, liposomes and nanoemulsions.  

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Cannabis Concentrates: Medical Significance and Extraction Methods

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Medical Cannabis, Extraction

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The cannabis (marijuana, hemp) plant has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia.  In addition to terpenes and flavonoids, over 100 types of therapeutically active compounds known as cannabinoids have been identified in these plants [1]. The two most important and well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) [2]. Cannabinoids have the ability to directly and/or indirectly affect receptors in our cells because they mimic endocannabinoids produced by our own bodies endogenously, for example, in response to injury [3].

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Can CBD or THC be Made Water-Soluble?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 3, 2016 10:11:12 AM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Emulsion-based Products, Medical Cannabis

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Cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.) are hydrophobic (water-hating) oily substances and, as such, not water-soluble. They can, however, be formulated to be water-compatible and appear water-soluble.

The term "water-soluble CBD" has lately been extensively used throughout the medical cannabis industry. "Water-soluble" means able to homogeneously incorporate into water by separating into molecules or ions (dissolve like sugar, alcohol or salt). Oily substances, however, are repelled by water, which forces them to stay separate from it.

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Are Cannabinoids More Effective in Nano Form?

[fa icon="calendar'] May 28, 2016 5:27:08 PM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Emulsion-based Products, Medical Cannabis

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Medicinal uses of the cannabis plant (e.g., medical marijuana, hemp) have now been legalized in most US states. In addition to terpenoids and flavonoids, the plant may contain over 85 different types of therapeutically active compounds known as cannabinoids, the main two of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). In recent years, medications based on concentrated cannabis extracts have become popular because they allow many routes of administration that are preferable to smoking the plant itself.

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Ultrasonic Pasteurization of Milk and Water-Based Beverages

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 16, 2016 5:29:03 PM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Food & Beverage

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One of the main challenges in the food & beverage industry is the inactivation of microorganisms (pasteurization). Thermal treatment of such products as milk and fruit-based beverages (generally, at over 70 °C)  is currently the most commonly applied pasteurization method. Unfortunately, this approach causes significant deterioration of many of these products' attributes, such as flavor, color and nutritional quality. Alternative, non-thermal pasteurization methods that can not only ensure the microbial safety of the products, but also preserve their quality are, therefore, of great interest to this industry.

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Acoustic Cavitation: Visual Examples of Chemical & Physical Processes

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 10, 2016 12:45:02 PM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Theory of Ultrasonic Processing

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In our previous blog post on ultrasonic cavitation in liquids, we described it as a cloud of low-pressure voids (a.k.a., vacuum bubbles or cavities) that grow, briefly oscillate and finally asymmetrically implode with great intensity. This effect causes extreme local temperatures and pressures, which can produce free radicals and give rise to many chemical (sonochemical) reactions. It also generates extremely powerful micro-jets and enormous shear forces, which promote a variety of physical (mechanical) processes. In some instances, these effects can be clearly seen as they occur. In this post, we provide such visual examples of chemical and mechanical processes.

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Acoustic Cavitation: The Driving Force Behind Ultrasonic Processing

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 2, 2016 5:01:34 PM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Theory of Ultrasonic Processing

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Liquids exposed to high-intensity ultrasound can undergo acoustic cavitation. This phenomenon can typically be seen as a cloud of bubbles forming in the vicinity of the ultrasonic source (e.g., ultrasonic horn) and heard as an intense hissing noise. Cavitation is the formation of low-pressure voids (a.k.a., vacuum bubbles or cavities) in the liquid, which grow, briefly oscillate and then asymmetrically implode with great intensity.

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6 Frequently Used Terms in Ultrasonic Processing of Liquids

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 1, 2015 4:39:00 PM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Ultrasonic Processing Systems

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This blog post focuses on six common terms used in conjunction with ultrasonic processing: ultrasonic amplitude, power, frequency, power intensity, power density and processing rate.

Whether you use ultrasonic processing for making nanoemulsions, milling pharmaceutical crystals, degassing, extracting botanical oils, manufacturing bio-fuels, dispersing pigments, disrupting cells or enhancing a chemical process, there are several general terms you need to be familiar with. Knowing these terms and keeping track of the corresponding parameters will insure reproducibility of results and simplify process-related discussions with your peers. 

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Ultrasonic Production of Pharmaceutical Emulsions

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 24, 2015 12:56:00 AM / by Alexey Peshkovsky, Ph.D. posted in Emulsion-based Products

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Oil-in-water emulsions with nano-sized droplets (nanoemulsions) are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, as an intravenous source of fatty acids when oral nutrition is disadvantageous or as bioactive compound carriers (e.g. drugs, vaccines). Pharmaceutical nanoemulsions can be administered by almost all available routes including parenteral, ocular, nasal, oral, topical, and even aerosolization to the lungs. There are currently over a dozen commercially available drugs encapsulated into nanoemulsions. Small oil droplet sizes and the associated stability of these products are critically important. 

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