Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

’Virtual stomach’ reveals pill’s path

04.10.2002


Penn State mechanical engineers, working with medical and pharmaceutical researchers, have developed the first computer-generated "virtual stomach" to follow the path of extended-release tablets that are designed to remain in the stomach for hours while slowly releasing medicine.



The researchers note that, although many medications are prepared in extended-release form, the details of exactly how the pills break down and release medicine in the stomach are largely unknown. The new "virtual stomach" has shown that tablet motion and mixing are highly sensitive to the pill’s location in the stomach and to the coordination between the stomach’s contractions and the opening and closing of the valve leading to the intestines.

Dr. James G. Brasseur, professor of mechanical engineering and leader of the project, says, "We can simulate the tablet breaking down with our new approach, watch the slow release of medication happen in a computer movie and analyze the process. Computer simulation allows us to ’control’ the stomach and therefore provides more detail than you could get with human or even animal experiments. In fact, computer simulation may be the only way to observe the stomach’s mechanical processes in such fine detail."


The researchers expect the new information provided by the virtual stomach to aid in the design and delivery of new extended-release tablet formulations, to shed light on diseases involving stomach motility and to help explain basic gastric function.

Dr. Anupam Pal will present the team’s results at the meeting of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility in Tubingen, Germany, Oct. 4. Pal is first author of the team’s report and a postdoctoral researcher in Brasseur’s laboratory. He received the Society’s Young Investigator Award for his work on the study. His poster is titled: "Relationship Between Gastric Motility, Mixing and Drug Release, Analyzed Using Computer Simulation."

The other authors, in addition to Brasseur and Pal, are Dr. Bertil Abramhamsson, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Mölndal, Sweden; Dr. Werner Schwizer, Dept. of Gastroenterology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland; and Dr. Geoffrey S. Hubbard, Dept. of Gastroenterology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.

The virtual stomach combines a sophisticated computer program with a realistic stomach geometry model derived from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) movies of the human stomach. The resulting computer simulations are presented as colorful, cartoon-like movies of the human stomach showing pressures, the motion of gastric fluid, and the path and breakdown of tablets. These computer simulations allow researchers to analyze the specific processes that lead to release and mixing of medicines from pills in the stomach.

For example, Pal measured the shear stresses or the "rubbing" the tablet undergoes from fluids and the walls of the stomach. At the same time, he evaluated the dispersion and mixing of the medication due to the wave-like contractions on the stomach walls. He found that these wave-like motions underlie both the shear stresses that contribute to the breakdown of the tablet and the mixing of the medicine. Pal also found that extended periods of moderate shear stress exist which continuously wear the tablet’s surface and lead to gradual dispersal of the medication. At the same time, shorter-acting high stresses can remove large pieces of tablet surface and contribute to uneven wear and uneven dispersal of the medication.

The virtual stomach simulations also revealed that the stomach has three very different zones, one very gentle, one moderately stressful to tablets and conducive to mixing and a third highly active zone where a tablet can break down rapidly and mixing is accelerated. He also found that buoyancy affects longer-time mixing and drug release. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals supported the research.

Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>