Filabot in Pharmaceuticals?
The University College London’s School of Pharmacy began to experiment with the effect geometry can have on pharmaceutical drug release and intake. The plan for the experiment was to see if different shapes had any significant difference in the rate of release and dissolving. In the article they wrote up for the International Journal of Pharmaceutics they said, “The future of medicine design and manufacture is likely to move away from mass production of tablets/capsules of limited dose range towards extemporaneous fabrication of unit dosage forms of any dose, personalized to the patient,” in other words, medication that is more patient specific. They went on to say that to do this they need to imply novel manufacturing techniques. Ergo 3D Printing.
That was when the article caught our attention. They said that FDM Printing seemed to be the most viable option in their case. In order to do this they needed to create a filament in which to use in the printer by means of hot melt extrusion. To achieve creating filament that was both dissolvable, and loaded with the correct amounts of medication they turned to what else but our very own trusty Filabot. They used PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) as the dissolvable plastic binder, then mixed in 5% paracetamol (we aren't pharmacists so I couldn't tell you what this is). From there they ran the polymer mix through our Filabot Original EX2 where they extruded it into a 1.75 mm filament in which they could print with. 5 shapes were chosen to be printed for their experiment, which you can see just below the title block, a cube, pyramid, cylinder, sphere, and torus (ring). They printed different sets of them to test different dissolvable characteristics. For instance there was one where they were all similar weight, another all similar surface area, and the last was similar surface area/volume ratio. From there they were all tested individually in a lab for their dissolvable characteristics. For those of you interested you can read the full write up and results of their testing.Seeing our very own Filabot getting used in such fields as Pharmaceutics is a very bright spot in our short history. Being that its getting used in a field where things need to be as precise, sanitary, and consistent, as possible makes us very proud of how far we've come, and excited for the future. The Filabot Original EX2 worked perfectly for what they were trying to accomplish in this application. We hope to be seeing more examples of people using our machines for and in, revolutionary ways. And if you are already doing great things with yours we’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, happy extruding everyone!