A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have found a way to make personalised medicine cheaper and easier. Imagine if you could combine the myriad of pills you need to take for your ailment in just one tablet; or if you need only to take the medication once a day and the drug will be slowly released throughout the day at different rates to treat your illness; or if doctors could easily make tablets on the spot that are tailored to each patient’s needs.
All these could become a reality with a new method of tablet fabrication designed by Assistant Professor Soh Siow Ling and PhD student Ms. Sun Yajuan from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering. The novel system can make customisable pills that release drugs with any desired release profiles.
Customised tablets for optimal therapeutic results
Releasing drugs in a timely manner is important for optimal therapeutic effect in the human body. Different types of clinical circumstances may call for different types of timed release of drugs.
One common type of release profile is that of a constant one: the drug is released at the same rate for a period of time, as there is only a narrow range of concentration in which the drug can be effective. However, certain chemicals, such as hormones, may need to be released in pulses at regular intervals, in sync with the biological cycles of the human body. In situations where a relatively large dose of drug is needed initially to act against their targets rapidly, followed by gradually lower levels to maintain health – for example, in arthritis, a large dose is required initially to eliminate pain in the morning, followed by smaller doses to keep the pain from recurring – a decreasing release profile would be appropriate.
While there are some existing tablet-production methods, including 3D printing, that can allow certain flexibility, they have their limitations – low dosage, release profiles that are non-continuous, or the drugs are released in a large burst in the initial stage, and poor durability of the tablet given its quick breakdown. These methods are also only able to fabricate tablets that release drugs with a limited type of profiles.
A fully customisable fabrication method
“For a long time, personalised tablets has been a mere concept as it was far too complex or expensive to be realised. This new tablet fabrication method is a game changer – it is technically simple, relatively inexpensive and versatile. It can be applied at individualised settings where physicians could produce customised pills on the spot for patients, or in mass production settings by pharmaceutical companies,” said Asst Prof Soh.
Instead of manufacturing the drug tablet by printing layer by layer, the drug tablet designed by Asst Prof Soh and Ms Sun consists of three distinct components, including a polymer containing the drug in a specifically designed shape that will determine the rate of release of the drug. For instance, a 5-prong shape will allow the drug to be released in five pulses over time. By adjusting the shape of the drug-containing polymer, it is thus possible to release drugs at any desired rate.
Using the system designed by the NUS team, a doctor only needs to draw the desired release profile in a computer software to generate a template for making tablets specific to a patient’s treatment, which can then be used to easily produce the desired pills using a 3D printer. The system is easy to use and does not involve any complex mathematical computation whenever a new release profile is needed. The fully customisable system is able to create a template to print tablets for any release profile.
The use of a commercially available 3D printer in this method also makes it a relatively cheap way of making personalised medicine a reality, as compared to conventional tablet production or other methods in making small shapes, such as photolithography.
In drug delivery, it is also often important to administer more than one type of drug into the human body simultaneously to treat an illness. The fabrication method developed by Asst Prof Soh can be modified to include multiple types of drugs loaded within the same tablet – and more importantly, each drug can be customised to release at different rates even within the same tablet.
Aside from exploring commercialisation possibilities, the NUS team is currently doing further work to explore the various combination of materials for the different polymer-based components in the tablet to cater to various types of drugs and illnesses to increase the efficacy of this method.
The Latest on: Customisable pills
via Google News
The Latest on: Customisable pills
- Smart packaging: challenges and opportunities in the supply chain on February 20, 2019 at 5:01 pm
Smart pill bottles, smart caps, smart automatic pill dispensers ... These efforts include passive RFID-based sensing technologies that do not require any batteries and are customizable for different p... […]
- AT&T & T-Mobile Confirm That It Will Carry Samsung Galaxy Fold, But Offers Little Details on February 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
Samsung also confirmed that the Galaxy Fold will launch in four color options, including Cosmos Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, and Astro Blue, while the color of the hinge will be customizable on ... […]
- These Powerful, Affordable DNA Testing Kits Let You Take Control of Your Future and Optimize Your Health on February 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm
What you won’t get is pseudoscience, fad diets, or magic pills. What you will get is the most accurate ... marketplace of products” offered by third-party vendors providing customizable DNA research. ... […]
- Realising the Potential of Pharma Packaging as a Communication Tool on February 19, 2019 at 5:59 am
For instance, the dedicated Constantia Interactive brand combines a digitally readable packaging material with a digital platform for data management and a smartphone app customisable to ... “When the ... […]
- FDA approves first customizable insulin pump on February 17, 2019 at 6:05 am
RELATED High-tech pill could prevent type 2 diabetes patients from needing injections The product works by delivering insulin under the skin at set or variable rates. It can be digitally connected to ... […]
- 2019: 5 Reasons It Will (Finally) Be The Year Of Conversational AI on February 14, 2019 at 10:23 pm
Conversational AI has crossed the threshold of being that ‘magic pill’ that everyone expects ... can be leveraged for any kind of application customizable to the need of an enterprise. […]
- Researchers develop 3D printed objects that can track and store how they are used on October 9, 2018 at 11:41 am
Cheap and easily customizable, 3D printed devices are perfect for assistive technology, like prosthetics or “smart” pill bottles that can help patients remember to take their daily medications. But th... […]
- Multiply Labs launches customizable 3D printed pills that release desired supplements throughout the day on August 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Remember Aprecia’s Spritam? Almost exactly a year ago, it became the world’s first 3D printed drug approved by the FDA. An epilepsy drug, Spritam features a very porous 3D printed structure that immed... […]
- Researchers develop novel technology for customised tablets on May 28, 2016 at 6:40 am
The new method of tablet fabrication designed by Soh Siow Ling and Sun Yajuan from National University of Singapore (NUS) can make customisable pills that release drugs with any desired release profil... […]
- Soon, 'print' customised tablets for personalised medicine on May 28, 2016 at 3:03 am
The novel system can make customisable pills that release drugs with any desired release profiles. "For a long time, personalised tablets has been a mere concept as it was far too complex or expensive ... […]
via Bing News