An analysis technology developed by Viscotek can slice days off the time it takes to carry out research and quality control into drug delivery systems based on polymers.
The company's Triple Detection Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) system can be used to characterise a range of drug delivery systems, including transdermal patches, capsules, inhalation devices and under-skin depots.
Characterising the polymers used in drug delivery systems is important in the production stages of these materials to maintain product quality, according to Viscotek. The GPC platform can give an accurate reading of the molecular weight of the polymer, its size and viscosity, all of which can affect the release of a product's active ingredient.
"The system produces accurate results in minutes that other combinations of techniques typically take days to achieve," said Viscotek in a statement.
For example, the company has used Triple Detection GPC to determine the molecular weight of a sample of polylactide, a biodegradeable polymer used in sustained-release pharmaceuticals. The accurate data achieved using the technqiue allowed precise calculation of the rate at which the polymer would dissolve in the body and release the active drug substance.
Additionally the technique has also been used to distinguish between a protein with one bound to polyethylene glycol (used to extend the half-life of protein-based drugs in the body), even though they were the same molecular weight.
The system comprises a concentration detector, viscometer and light scattering detector in tandem. It can be added directly to an existing GPC/size exclusion chromatography (SEC) system or one based on fast peformance liquid chromatography (FPLC).