What if the future of drug delivery is here today? A future that ensures life-saving medicine is delivered on-time, dispensed with accuracy, and connects medical providers and pharmacies with patients and caregivers?
A revolutionary drug delivery conceptual device was introduced earlier this month at MD&M West 2019 that meets all of these patient needs and more. And, it was not developed by a healthcare or pharmaceutical company, but by Covestro, a leading polycarbonate supplier to the healthcare market.
“We are excited to apply our research and application development expertise to push boundaries and imagine a brighter future for the millions of patients who use daily medications,” says George Paleos, head of global healthcare business, Covestro. “We understand that the future of medical care will demand smarter, more connected and convenient drug delivery devices. As a supplier of polycarbonate resin we are ready to work with our healthcare customers to help them shape the future, beginning today.”
Innovation for a brighter tomorrow
Engineers from the application development group at Covestro combined their knowledge of healthcare trends and technologies across multiple industries to develop the concept drug delivery device, to benefit device manufacturers and ultimately the patients who use them. The concept was in development for more than one year.
“This concept is different from devices we see currently on the market,” says Jessee McCanna, principal engineer, Covestro LLC. “It is designed not to look like a typical drug delivery device in an effort to make it more user-friendly, and increase both comfort and patient adherence,” he adds.
The concept incorporates a Direct Skinning/Direct Coating technology, providing exceptional tactile qualities for patients as well as streamlined, efficient manufacturing possibilities. While the technology is not new, it has rarely been used beyond automotive applications. In this design, Direct Coating is used to encapsulate the body of the device, creating a hermetic and tamper-resistant seal. Both high gloss and matte finishes are present on the outer surface, and the haptics (soft-feel) can be varied based on the polyurethane chemistry used. Compared to traditional spray coating, Direct Coating offers increased design flexibility and streamlines manufacturing, while avoiding paint overspray and the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
“With this drug delivery concept, we want to demonstrate possibilities of what the future could be like for manufacturers and patients – and how Covestro polycarbonate solutions can help make it happen,” Paleos says.
Medical grade Makrolon polycarbonates
Medical technology continues to advance and as it does, materials must advance to meet new rigorous challenges. Makrolon medical grade polycarbonates have excellent properties of durability, processability, safety, and design flexibility, which meet the stringent requirements of a wide variety of medical products.
Makrolon polycarbonate is the best choice for glass-like transparency, impact resistance and durability for drug delivery innovation. The exterior of the future drug delivery concept is injection-molded from Makrolon polycarbonate. The polycarbonate is clear, in order to maximize design freedom and allows the incorporation of a digital monitor for connectivity as well as indicators and light guides. The concept includes thin walls for an overall smaller form factor and a lighter device, allowing it to fit in a backpack, purse or pocket.
The main benefits of medical grade Makrolon polycarbonates from Covestro are:
Toughness and durability
- They are biocompatible and comply with multiple requirements of ISO 10993-1, USP Class VI
- They can be sterilized using a variety of methods
- Accuracy in molding size, and ability to maintain stability under different application environments
- Reinforced materials offer stiffness and dimensional stability for internal components
- Low friction materials offer tight tolerances in internal components for consistent delivery and accurate dosing