Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Right first time: Pioneering new methods of drug manufacture

Engineers at the University of Leeds have developed a simple technology which can be used in existing chemical reactors to ensure "right first time" drug crystal formation.

Ensuring drug crystals are formed correctly is crucial to their efficacy and the efficiency of pharmaceutical manufacturers' operations.

Using self-assembled monolayers, the team has been able to show that crystals form into their desired product form with the correct shape and particle structure, without the usual problems of polymorphism which results in huge losses to the pharmaceutical sector each year.

"If you imagine the way that oil sits on top of water, that's similar to how the monolayer works," says Professor Kevin Roberts of University's Faculty of Engineering. "We've shown that we can produce a well-defined crystal structure using a self-assembled monolayer bound onto a metal substrate within a regular reactor. This is exciting stuff, because it's a relatively simple system, but could make a huge difference in the efficiency of drug manufacture."

One of the first stages of the crystallisation process is called nucleation. During nucleation, particles are introduced into a reactor to encourage the formation of crystals. However, the way in which this is currently carried out is difficult to control and can often lead to the wrong shape, size or structure of drug crystal, something which affects the usefulness and efficacy of the compound.

The new system proven to work by the Leeds team, working alongside Ana Kwokal from Croatian pharmaceutical company PLIVA, has shown that introducing a self-assembled monolayer – a layer of self-organising molecules that is attractive to the substance being crystallised – into a reactor enables consistent crystal formation.

Professor Roberts says: "Because this is a really simple solution to ensuring consistent crystallisation, it has huge potential commercially. Our next steps are to make sure it's just as efficient on an industrial scale."

This work draws on previous research and experimental systems developed through the Chemicals Behaving Badly II initiative, an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) programme which includes universities and industrial partners.

Clare Elsley | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>