Fast foil sealing process keeps multi-dose inhaler drugs dry

Cambridge Design Partnership uses single piece of aluminium foil to seal irregular-shaped packs

A Cambridge, UK-based consultancy has developed a multi-surface sealing method, which allows a single sheet of foil to seal multiple cavities securely.

Cambridge Design Partnership is launching the sealing method for dry powder inhalers at next month’s Drug Delivery to the Lung (DDL21) conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tom Oakley, partner at the firm, which provides consultancy and product development expertise in healthcare and other markets, said that current heat-sealed drug compartments are limited to simple shapes because excess foil causes wrinkles and therefore leak paths.

Cambridge Design Partnership has developed a multi-surface sealing method for aluminium foil, which allows moisture-tight compartments for many weeks of treatment to be created in one operation.

Sealed foil compartments are produced from a single sheet of foil

‘Our multi-surface sealing process is at least as fast as any normal heat/seal process,’ said Oakley. ‘And the unit cost will be cheaper by requiring only one sealing operation to do a complex geometry.’

A simple foil punch or peel feature can open ‘windows’ on the top or either end of each drug-containing compartment. This allows optimal flexibility in the design of the inhaler and enables an ultra-slim profile.

Cambridge Design Partnership says the Stratus approach can be used for either a multi-dose disposable inhaler for short-term use or for a refill component that could be slotted into a reusable inhaler.

‘At DDL21 we hope to speak to pharmaceutical companies, or those who supply dry powder inhalers to the industry, about our sealing method, with the aim of taking it forward,’ said Oakley.