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Microfluidics has filed for a patent on its Microfluidics Reaction Technology (MRT), which will enable companies and research organizations to develop and manufacture smaller-sized nanoparticles than previously possible and to do so more efficiently than with other methods. MRT was presented at the Nano Science and Technology Institute (NSTI) Nanotech 2007 and 2008 conferences and won a Nano 50™ award in 2007 as one of the most innovative ideas that will revolutionize nanotechnology in the near-term and beyond.
The patent covers processors, processes, and applications that are used to produce nanoparticles at high volume, high purity, and low cost. MRT can also be used for synthesis of fine chemicals through single or multiphase chemical reactions or physical processes such as crystallization. Another key use is process intensification, or combining chemical processes in ways that increase manufacturing efficiency, reduce energy use, and result in purer products.
MRT has a wide range of applications, including production of pharmaceutical nanosuspensions and of nanomaterials that are used for fuel cells and photovoltaics. It is particularly applicable for those pharmaceutical applications where the trend is to go to very small particles that have precise polymorph control. Microfluidics has demonstrated MRT by creating nanosuspensions of a variety of injectable or inhalable drugs, including cancer therapies, antibiotics, antihistamines, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, among others. "We used solvent/anti-solvent crystallization, precipitation, or chemical reactions to create these nanosuspensions," says Dr. Thomai "Mimi" Panagiotou, Microfluidics' Chief Technology Officer. "We were also able to encapsulate drugs in polymers using the same technique."
At the core of MRT is a continuous impinging jet microreactor (reaction chamber) with flow rates in liters or tens of liters per minute, capable of mixing the reactants at the nanometer level. The flow velocities inside the reaction chamber are orders of magnitude higher than that of existing impinging jet designs. Particles are built up molecule by molecule in fractions of a second. The process results in extreme purity of products and creates smaller particles than those ever before achieved.
Dr. Panagiotou noted "Most technologies that produce nanomaterials rely on ‘top down' approaches, i.e. breaking large particles into smaller particles. MRT creates nanoparticles from the ‘bottom up.' This is a more efficient approach and it can create smaller particles than ‘top down' methods. Crystals can be made to a targeted size range with no need for additional micronization, instead of making them and then breaking them down to the desired size."
Microfluidics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microfluidics International Corporation, is a supplier of advanced fluid-processing equipment and reaction technology for laboratory, pilot-scale, and manufacturing applications. The equipment enables the manufacture and formulation of numerous nanomaterials and nanoscale products, and produces the most uniform and smallest liquid and suspended solid particles available.
Microfluidics has been a worldwide supplier of Microfluidizer® high-shear fluid- processing systems to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics industries since 1984. As a leader in the field, Microfluidics has enabled numerous companies and institutions to formulate, validate, and produce licensed drugs for the worldwide healthcare market.
Companies seeking to produce difficult-to-formulate products or to find better methods of bioprocessing can take advantage of complimentary sample testing at any of three Microfluidics facilities. Visit www.microfluidicscorp.com, email or contact Microfluidics at 800.370.5452 for application information.
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