The drug development and delivery process have undergone significant changes over the past few decades. Advances in computer technology, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and delivery systems have made it possible to develop more effective treatments for diseases and conditions. These advancements will continue to pave the way for improved global health care.
Why Is Pharmaceutical Technology Important?
Pharmaceutical technology is essential because it can:
- improve the quality of life for millions of people
- create new treatments for diseases or conditions that previously had no cure
- generate billions of dollars in revenue for businesses
Pharmaceuticals are a major part of the economy, and they’re used to treat many different conditions. A report by PhRMA concluded that the biopharmaceutical industry contributes $720 billion to the U.S. economy or 3.4 percent of GDP. This includes direct and indirect impacts on other sectors of the economy.
By allowing pharmaceutical companies to expand their offerings, advancements in drug delivery will lead to better overall healthcare outcomes across all demographics.
Use of Hybrid Cleanrooms for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Hybrid cleanrooms are facilities that offer a combination of cleanroom classifications. They can maintain the benefits of class 100k and class 10k environments while also addressing the needs of pharmaceutical manufacturers requiring a higher level of environmental purity.
Hybrid cleanrooms can be used to develop drugs, allowing for the use of more sensitive equipment without risking contamination or loss of productivity. They also enable manufacturers to perform processes with greater flexibility, increasing their ability to produce new products rapidly or react to market demands.
Liposomal Delivery Systems
Liposomal delivery systems are tiny bubbles of fat used to deliver drugs to the body. Liposomes consist of a phospholipid bilayer membrane and water-soluble components, such as cholesterol and surfactants. They effectively increase drug bioavailability by reducing degradation and facilitating penetration across biological membranes.
In addition to protecting against degradation, liposomes can carry molecules of different sizes through the bloodstream without being attacked by enzymes or antibodies. Furthermore, liposomes can cross into tissues that do not usually allow penetration by other means, like brain tissue. Research shows that this would make them efficient drug delivery systems for treating stroke.
Delivery Systems Using Nanoparticles
Nanoparticles are a type of drug delivery system that can be used to carry drugs deep into the body, including the brain, without causing damage to healthy cells. They are made up of many different substances. Gold and silver nanoparticles are toxic in some cases. However, carbon and iron nanoparticles do not seem to cause any harm.
Nanoparticles can be injected directly into the bloodstream or absorbed through the lining of your nose (intranasal) or your skin (transdermal). This allows drugs that would normally be destroyed by digestive enzymes or destroyed in their inactive state by stomach acid to get straight into your bloodstream, where they can begin working immediately.
This is a growing field with a lot of ongoing research involved. The global nanotechnology in the drug delivery market is expected to reach USD 182.3 billion by 2027, according to an industry analysis conducted by UnivDatos Market Insights.
Passive and Active Targeting of Drugs to Cancer Cells
Passive targeting relies on antibodies to bind to the target. These antibodies are then linked to drugs or other molecules used for treatment. Active targeting, in contrast, involves finding a drug that binds with the target itself and delivering that drug directly to the cancer cell.
This may sound like an obvious approach, but it’s not as simple as it seems. For example, when you take aspirin for pain relief, your body absorbs some drugs into your bloodstream while disposing of most of them through urine or sweat. This means only a small amount reaches its intended destination, your joints, and even then, only after being processed by your liver first.
Targeted therapies interfere with specific proteins that help tumors grow and spread. It helps the immune system to destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread.
Using 3D Printing for Drug Development
You may have heard of 3D printing before. It’s a technology that allows objects to be made by stacking layers of materials, such as plastic or metal, on top of one another.
3D printing can create customized drugs with different doses and durations that are more effective and less toxic than standard treatments. This means that doctors can customize medicines for their patients based on their individual needs and preferences, something that has never been possible before.
3D printing could also make it cheaper and faster for drug manufacturers to produce these customized medications. In fact, a new 3D-printing technique enables medicines to be printed in seven seconds, a research team from University College London reports.
See how your medicine is made with the infographic below!
Infographic provided by The Emmes Company, a clinical research services organization
Realizing a “Plug-and-Play” Laboratory
A plug-and-play laboratory is a concept for a laboratory that can be easily reconfigured to suit different needs. It would have the capacity to be reconfigured as technology and science advance, allowing it to remain relevant. This lab would be more flexible than a traditional lab and more efficient.
A New Method of Fabricating Magnetic Nanoparticles for Diagnostic Applications
Magnetic nanoparticles can detect cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, and proteins. Magnetic nanoparticles are used in diagnostics because they can be customized for various applications. They are also tiny, so they can be used to target specific types of cells or organisms.
Magnetic nanoparticles are usually made from a magnetic material such as iron oxide or cobalt-57 (Fe3O4). These materials may be coated with silica or polymers that bind to certain substances detected by the magnetometer.
The magnetic field from the magnet will cause these particles to align themselves in one direction so that they line up parallel on either side rather than being randomly dispersed throughout space, as most things would be otherwise.
Pharmaceutical technology has advanced dramatically over the years and shows no signs of slowing down. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and with good reason.
New technology is helping develop better treatments for diseases that have previously been difficult to treat. As we move into the future, further advancements will see the use of newer drug-producing and delivery systems that can benefit patients.