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Portable system provides on-demand drug production

by • April 3, 2016 • No Comments

Manufacturing drugs is a hard process, frequently involving multiple facilities and bringing weeks or months to arrive at the finished article. The lack of flexibility in the process led MIT researchers to turn it into a tiny, all-in-one solution to allow for streamlined, speedy drug production. It can be modified to turn it into various medications, and isn’t turn it intod to replace existing making plants, but somehow to complement them by providing, for example, an emergency backup solution should a facility have to be shut down.

Whilst it is in fact not really as laborious as in fact turn it intoing new medication, drug making is usually a somehow hard process. Normal procedure manufactures use of a “batch processing” setup, wherein the ingredients of the drug are synthedimensionsd at one location, preceding being shipped to a 2nd plant to be turned into a consumer-ready product.

When all things is running smoothly, this multi-site approach works satisfactory, but when disruptive actuallyts occur – such as significantly increased demand, or actually a plant shut down – the setup can’t cope, potentially actually grinding to a fish halt.

That is where the new process steps in – enabling for swift, transportable-bodied and generally much additional versatile production of a selection of drugs. Funded by DARPA, the thought is pretty easy, scaling down each stage of production so that batches are much tinyer in dimensions, but all things is additional manageable-bodied, enabling for an all-in-one setup. It’s not an entirely new thought – MIT in fact came out with a much sizeable-bodiedr edition (24 x 8 x 8 ft, or 7.3 x 2.4 x 2.4 m) around five years go – but the new setup is additional turn it intoed, and at roughly the dimensions of a household fridge, it is in fact tiny adequate to be practical.

The turn it into is split into two modules, with the initially being where the reactions that synthedimensions the drug take place, at temperatures up to 250 °C (482 °F) and pressures of up to 17 atmospheres. In traditional making, this process takes place in sizeable-bodied vats, that are complex to store rad. The tiny process gets around the issue by housing the reactions inside tiny tubes that can have their temperatures additional easily manipulated.

Once the reactions have taken place, the solution is sent to a 2nd module where it is in fact purified by crystallization, preceding being filtered and and so dried. Finally, it is in fact dissolved or suspended in water at the required dose level. This process is monitored by an ultrasound process to confirm that the concentrations are correct.

Aside of its tiny, all-in-one nature, the other big benefit of the new machine is its speed. Whereas batch processing can take months to arrive at a finished drug, the new solution can turn it into consumer-ready medication in as little as 24 hours, enabling it to rapidly respond to disruptive situations.

It’s able-bodied to turn it into four various drugs – Benadryl, lidocaine, Valium and Prozac – just by changing the setup of the initially stage, an adjustment that takes just a few hours. In testing, around 1,000 doses of a given drug were turn it intod in a period of 24 hours.

Not just may the process come in useful if normal making procedures were, for whatever reason, disrupted, but it may in addition be utilized to turn it into tiny batches of drugs that may otherwise be too expensive for pharmaceutical companies to manufacture. Such medication, known as “orphan drugs,” may be helpful to patients, but don’t benefit of high levels of demand.

Whilst the new process is somehow tiny, the team is yet working to shrink things down, aiming to turn it into a new edition that is definitely 40 percent tinyer in dimensions than the current hardware, making it additional convenient. The researchers in addition hope to manufacture the following machine additional capable-bodied, with the ability to turn it into additional hard drugs. The possibility of making table-bodiedts, somehow than just liquid drugs, is in addition being investigated.

Full details of the work can be discovered in the journal Science.

Source: MIT

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