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Cracking the code for continuous processing and personalised medicine

Summary of the Impact:

Personalised medicine is the next great global challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. The vision of the pharmacy of the future is one in which  pharmacies employ disruptive technologies to enable on-demand manufacture of drugs designed to individual needs. For example, multiple medications may be prescribed that treat a patient’s exact age-profile and medical history. These medications could then be 3D printed into one tablet, on-demand at the patient’s local drug supplier.

Multiple medications may be prescribed that treat a patient’s exact age-profile and medical history

Central to this vision is the concept of continuous processing. Currently, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are manufactured in large batches at distinctly separate times. Continuous processing replaces this large-batch process with the manufacture of lower volumes but at a constant rate. This process enables the continuous flow of product, reduces inventories, and has less batch-to-batch variation, giving higher process control and higher quality.

Researchers led by Prof Gavin Walker at the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (UL), are generating the chemical engineering solutions for the challenges of personalised medicine. This highly cited research is changing how we train chemical engineers, impacting industry competitiveness, and attracting R&D investment into Ireland.


Sustainable Development Goals

  • 03 Good Health and Wellbeing

References to the research

Investigation of polymorphic transitions of piracetam induced during wet granulation

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.05.012

Authors: Potter, C.B., Kollamaram, G., Zeglinski, J., Whitaker, D.A., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M.


Design of spray dried ternary solid dispersions comprising itraconazole, soluplus and HPMCP: Effect of constituent compositions

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.01.043

Authors: Davis, M.T., Potter, C.B., Mohammadpour, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G.M.


Nucleation and growth in fluidised hot melt granulation

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2008.04.021

Authors: Zhai, H., Li, S., Andrews, G., Jones, D., Bell, S., Walker, G.


Development of stability enhanced ternary solid dispersions via combinations of HPMCP and Soluplus® processed by hot melt extrusion

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.09.035

Authors: Albadarin, A.B., Potter, C.B., Davis, M.T., Iqbal, J., Korde, S., Pagire, S., Paradkar, A., Walker, G.


Studies into the effect of temperature on the impact of model particles in co-melt granulation

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2016.02.041

Authors: Grau-Bove, J., Mangwandi, C., Walker, G., Ring, D., Cronin, K.


Effect of poly ethylene glycol on the mechanical and thermal properties of bioactive poly(ε-caprolactone) melt extrudates for pharmaceutical applications

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.01.036

Authors: Douglas, P., Albadarin, A.B., Sajjia, M., Mangwandi, C., Kuhs, M., Collins, M.N., Walker, G.M.


Bioactive PCL matrices with a range of structural & rheological properties

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reactfunctpolym.2016.02.004

Authors: Douglas, P., Kuhs, M., Sajjia, M., Khraisheh, M., Walker, G., Collins, M.N., Albadarin, A.B.


ANN Analysis of a Roller Compaction Process in the Pharmaceutical Industry

https://doi.org/10.1002/ceat.201600229

Authors: Sajjia, M., Shirazian, S., Kelly, C.B., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G.


Artificial neural network modelling of continuous wet granulation using a twin-screw extruder

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2017.02.009

Authors: Shirazian, S., Kuhs, M., Darwish, S., Croker, D., Walker, G.M.


Predicting optimal wet granulation parameters for extrusion-spheronisation of pharmaceutical pellets using a mixer torque rheometer

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.11.057

Authors: Kuhs, M., Moore, J., Kollamaram, G., Walker, G., Croker, D.


Characterisation of fluidised bed granulation processes using in-situ Raman spectroscopy

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2008.09.011

Authors: Walker, G.M., Bell, S.E.J., Greene, K., Jones, D.S., Andrews, G.P.


Fluidised bed characterisation using Raman spectroscopy: Applications to pharmaceutical processing

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2007.04.017

Authors: Walker, G., Bell, S.E.J., Vann, M., Jones, D.S., Andrews, G.


Statistical analysis of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.09.052

Authors: Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G.


Regime-separated approach for population balance modelling of continuous wet granulation of pharmaceutical formulations

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2017.11.047

Authors: Shirazian, S., Darwish, S., Kuhs, M., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M.


Mechanistic modelling of industrialscale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compchemeng.2017.04.018

Authors: Sajjia, M., Shirazian, S., Egan, D., Iqbal, J., Albadarin, A.B., Southern, M., Walker, G.


Organic synthesis by Twin Screw Extrusion (TSE): Continuous, scalable and solvent-free

https://doi.org/10.1039/C6GC03413F

Authors: Crawford, D.E., Miskimmin, C.K.G., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., James, S.L.


Amorphous solid dispersions of BCS class II drugs: A rational approach to solvent and polymer selection

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cherd.2016.04.008

Authors: Davis, M.T., Egan, D.P., Kuhs, M., Albadarin, A.B., Griffin, C.S., Collins, J.A., Walker, G.M.


Inkjet printing of paracetamol and indomethacin using electromagnetic technology: Rheological compatibility and polymorphic selectivity

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2018.01.036

Authors: Kollamaram, G., Hopkins, S.C., Glowacki, B.A., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M.


Spray drying ternary amorphous solid dispersions of ibuprofen – An investigation into critical formulation and processing parameters

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.08.005

Authors: Ziaee, A., Albadarin, A.B., Padrela, L., Faucher, A., O’Reilly, E., Walker, G.


Electrospun API-loaded mixed matrix membranes for controlled release

https://doi.org/10.1039/C7RA08600H

Authors: Castro-Dominguez, B., Moroney, K., Schaller, B., O’Connor, S., Cloonan, A., Vo, T.T.N., Walker, G., O’Reilly, E.J.


A method of processing active pharmaceutical ingredients and apparatus for use in such methods

https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2019145401

Authors: Albadarin, A.B., Zeglinski, J., Walker, G.


Effect of lignin on the release rate of acetylsalicylic acid tablets

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.11.136

Authors: Pishnamazi, M., Iqbal, J., Shirazian, S., Walker, G.M., Collins, M.N.


Developing ANN-Kriging hybrid model based on process parameters for prediction of mean residence time distribution in twin-screw wet granulation

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018.11.060

Authors: Ismail, H.Y., Singh, M., Darwish, S., Kuhs, M., Shirazian, S., Croker, D.M., Khraisheh, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G.M.


Aminopropyl functionalized mesoporous silica SBA-15 as drug carrier for cefazolin: adsorption profiles, release studies, and mineralization potential

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2018.07.046

Authors: Szewczyk, A., Prokopowicz, M., Sawicki, W., Majda, D., Walker, G.


Spray drying of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals: Critical parameters and experimental process optimization approaches

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2018.10.026

Authors: Ziaee, A., Albadarin, A.B., Padrela, L., Femmer, T., O’Reilly, E., Walker, G.


Microcrystalline cellulose, lactose and lignin blends: Process mapping of dry granulation via roll compaction

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2018.07.003

Authors: Pishnamazi, M., Casilagan, S., Clancy, C., Shirazian, S., Iqbal, J., Egan, D., Edlin, C., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M., Collins, M.N.


Invention Disclosure: Continuous drying of active pharmaceutical ingredients in twin screw extruder, UL Invention Disclosure

Authors: J Zeglinski, AB Albadarin, G Walker, B Wood


Invention Disclosure: Continuous wet granulation-coupled in situ drying in twin screw granulator for pharmaceutical production

Authors: AB Albadarin, J Zeglinski, G Walker


A method of processing active pharmaceutical ingredients and apparatus for use in such methods

https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2019145401

Authors: AB Albadarin, J Zeglinski, G Walker