GiroNEX designs precision powder dispenser

The technology could be used in localised manufacturing to allow more tailored treatment

GiroNEX has unveiled the first details of a novel precision powder dispensing technology that could increase the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to offer patient-specific dosing for more effective treatment of specific conditions.

The new GiroNEX technology can quickly dispense from 0.1 mg to 5 g of pharmaceutical or other chemical powders into vials or capsules and with accuracies of 2% or better across the complete weight range.

This new approach has been specifically developed by the new Cambridgeshire-based technology spin-out to target fast-growing opportunities in regulated production environments.

The technology could be used for instance in the use of localised manufacturing to enable pharmaceutical companies to offer more tailored treatments; and by hospital pharmacy compounding units involved in preparing patient-specific doses and drug combinations, nutritional supplements and other materials.

In addition, GiroNEX will help enable a new generation of automated ‘dispense and weigh’ systems for use in pharmaceutical R&D, QA/QC and other laboratory-based applications.

James Veale, technology development engineer at GiroNEX, said: “GiroNEX has developed its new precision powder dispensing technology based on parent company GB Innomech’s experience in developing bespoke automation for some of the world’s top healthcare companies.”

Veale added that the technology is robust and reliable, offering a combination of high performance, ease of use and low operating costs for use in a range of pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing applications.

The mechanisms

GiroNEX uses a gently oscillating powder dispensing mechanism that is capable of dispensing even the most sensitive of powders without damaging them or compromising on dispensing speed and accuracy.

The technology uses a series of interchangeable dispensing heads that covers a typical mass range and provides limitless dispensing capability, making the technology more cost effective and easier to use than current existing technologies.

The company’s automation team has based its system software for GiroNEX on a proprietary algorithm that learns how best to dispense new powders ‘on the fly. This will mean the device is effectively characterising a powder’s flow behaviour while it is being dispensed. As a result, users will no longer need to invest R&D time and resources in developing and testing reliable powder dispensing methods.

GiroNEX has already developed a prototype R&D laboratory-based system which uses a Sartorius weigh cell to display weights to the nearest μg.

The data is automatically transferred wirelessly and recorded with other batch and sample details to a dedicated system tablet. The company expects to take its first laboratory system into production in Q1 2019, while at the same time continuing to develop the core technology for more advanced pharmaceutical and other industrial applications.

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