Microfluids firm aids Uni of Manchester students with drug delivery research

A Dolomite Microfluidics’ set-up is helping researchers in the University of Manchester’s Division of Pharmacy and Optometry to try and enhance drug delivery.Dolomite.jpgDr Annalisa Tirella explained: “My background is bioengineering, where I gained expertise in biomaterials and fabrication techniques. At the beginning of my career, I focused my research on the design and manufacture of biomaterials to be used as in vitromodels for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Now, I am applying this knowledge of micro-scale techniques to the microfluidic encapsulation of therapeutics in nanoparticles, to offer more efficient and effective targeted drug delivery. Currently, my research group is formulating PLGA drug delivery systems for oncology applications, and liposomes for the co-delivery of fat- and water-soluble therapeutics.

“I knew that the Dolomite Microfluidics system would also be ideal for our work in the North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery (NoWCADD). It is easy to use and robust, allows us to make both nano- and micro-particle drug delivery systems, and has the advantage that we can use custom chips to optimise the performance of our processes. The system is very flexible too; we can quickly and easily change parameters to test a prototype reaction using just a few microliters of a preparation, minimising the costs involved. Importantly, the system gives us good control over our processes, eliminating batch-to-batch variation, which means that we can consistently and reliably produce nanoparticles. That's the really big benefit of the system.”

Medical technology innovations: Robotic Check-Ups. A pillar of health reform is improving access to the best health care for more people. Technology is a cost-effective and increasingly potent means to connect clinics in the vast and medically underserved rural regions of the United States with big city medical centers and their specialists. Telemedicine is well established as a tool for triage and assessment in emergencies, but new medical robots go one step further—they can now patrol hospital hallways on more routine rounds, checking on patients in different rooms and managing their individual charts and vital signs without direct human intervention. The RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot produced jointly by iRobot Corp. and InTouch Health is the first such autonomous navigation remote-presence robot to receive FDA clearance for hospital use. The device is a mobile cart with a two-way video screen and medical monitoring equipment, programmed to maneuver through the busy halls of a hospital.

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