Age, height, and weight influence drug efficacy
The term “personalized medicine” stands for drugs and therapies that are specifically tailored to the individual patient and his/her individual disease. It is known that such factors as age, gender, height, and weight, as well as nutrition and environment, have a great impact on the effect of medications. Since the active ingredient content of traditional medicines is typically fixed, women and older people often receive an over-or underdose, which may decrease the effect of drug medium and cause side effects. To prevent incorrect dosing, the dose of the active ingredient has to be tailored to the respective patient.
New Process for individual drug dosing
The aim of a research project that RCPE undertakes in collaboration with three institutes of the TU Graz (Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Institute of Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology, and Institute of Process and Particle Engineering) and one institute of the Karl Franzens University (Institute of Pharmaceutical Knowledge-unions) is to develop a novel method of delivering an individualized and exact drug dose to the patient. A year ago, the idea of this novel method of personalized drug dosing was introduced to patents and will be implemented long-term in hospitals and pharmacies.
The method of producing individually dosed drugs is based on a process in which all the required active ingredients and excipients of the drug are directly printed on a special edible paper used as carrier material. The printing method functions by means of the Drop-on-Demand (DOD) technique for inkjet printers, which applies electrical voltage to press ink through a fine nozzle. Depending on the nozzle diameter and the magnitude of the applied electric pulse, the drop volume of the droplet formation can precisely be controlled. This way, the exact dosage of the so-called micro-drops with volumes of 5-500 pl is possible, and active ingredient solutions and suspensions may be dosed precisely, exactly, and evenly. The printed paper can be rolled up, placed into a gelatine capsule, and taken by the patient. Another advantage of this technology is that several active substances can simultaneously be applied to a paper strip. This will reduce the number of drugs that have to be taken per day and help to control the interactions between individual drugs better.