Research at the University of Waterloo has concluded new encapsulation technology that can offer an inexpensive, and effective method for coating liquid medication. The technology can improve how drugs are transported in the body.
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Developed by engineers, the invention is based on gravitational pull and other natural forces that wrap drops as they penetrate a thin layer of liquid shell floating on a base liquid. The shell once it hardens and cures via exposer by UV light, it can effectively protect the inner liquid core—or the medicine itself. When taken orally, after reaching the targeted area of the body, the shell then breaks down allowing its contents to be released.
"It is a very simple technique that requires almost no energy -- and it is extremely rapid," said Sushanta Mitra, executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. "Encapsulation takes place in milliseconds."
The system holds a strong economic advantage than other methods that wrap drops with thin gel sheets and complex microfluidic processes.
"We envision a very simple, rapid, mass-production system using syringes," said Mitra, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering who is cross-appointed in chemical engineering and physics and astronomy. "With a one-shot approach, you could produce thousands of these encapsulations."
Other applications besides target drug delivery of pharmaceuticals and supplements, include liquid-liquid wrapping method to produce tiny capsules and to add flavoring to cola drinks as well as applications for prolonging the shelf life of cosmetics.
Source: Science Daily