Researchers in academic, commercial and pharmaceutical settings who need to generate microparticles, including those used in controlled-release drug delivery, could benefit from a new product from a Purdue Research Park-based company.
PolySciTech, a division of Akina Inc., has launched SpinSwiper for clients who manufacture microparticles. Microparticles are used in sectors like agriculture, cosmetics, food science, personal care and pharmaceuticals. John Garner, manager of PolySciTech, said current methods to produce microparticles have drawbacks.
"Some processes make particles that are different sizes. This affects the release of drugs from the particles because small ones tend to release faster than larger ones," he said. "Other processes create particles that adhere to the template, which makes them difficult to remove."
Garner said the SpinSwiper process to create microparticles is visually similar to filling the wells in an ice cube tray.
"A disposable template that is made of water-soluble polymer and contains a series of micrometer-sized wells is placed on the SpinSwiper. The template rotates across a hollow swiping blade filled with polymer, a drug and a solvent. The blade pushes the solution into the wells and removes the excess as the template continues to rotate," he said. "When the polymer dries, the microparticles have been formed and are the same diameter and shape as the wells. The template is dissolved, which leaves the microparticles to be collected."
Garner said microparticle technology, which was introduced in the late 1980s, may advance and new formulations may be developed with the SpinSwiper tool.
"There may be such a small number of microparticle formulations because it is not easy to maintain consistency of conventional methods of preparation in scaled-up manufacturing," he said. "SpinSwiper allows researchers to design and produce formulations fast in quantities large enough for in vitro characterization and in vivo studies. A formulation can be adjusted easily to obtain the desired release kinetics matching that of a clinical product."
PolySciTech is a "parts box" for polymer research. We provide clients with polymers that are hard to make, or commonly needed, that they can just click into place. We have more than 300 ready-made polymers in stock and are always happy to make others.