Controlled drug delivery is within reach. This would allow greater therapeutic effects to be achieved with smaller doses and fewer side effects. EmulTech has developed a process for producing such drug delivery systems: forming droplets in microfluidic channels.
“Drug delivery systems used to be made by practically stirring a few times briskly in a bucket,” says Fränk de Jong, one of the founders of EmulTech. “The problem with that is that you don’t have any control over the end product.” The
end products, in this case, are microdroplets and their size is tremendously important. Any droplets that deviate from the predetermined size and concentration are unusable. In fact, with today’s systems, almost 40% of the total production gets thrown out.
The EmulTech technology determines the size and content of the droplets very accurately, which saves 40% on those expensive active ingredients. The amounts needed are generally on the order of two to ten kilos, depending on the customer’s requirements and specifications. “If you consider that one gram of an active pharmaceutical ingredient costs as much as one hundred thousand euros, the savings are quite considerable.”