A team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic University of Turin developed a continuous freeze-drier moves vials where a sequence of chambers where the contents are cooled to a uniform temperature, frozen and then dried.
The newly developed technology was designed to speed up the freeze-drying process of pharmaceuticals, without facing problems that batch and previous continuous processing techniques usually face.
Bernhardt L. Trout, Professor at MIT explains that batch processing is inefficient and might result in non-uniformed result products. However, with their process, each vial will experience the same controlled conditions.
According to the team’s recent paper in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, this also overcomes problems with proposed continuous freeze-dry techniques using bulk powders where conditions cannot be easily controlled. The paper also added that day less than 5% of pharmaceutical manufacturing processes are continuous. They believe that the new continuous technology is a novel approach.
In collaboration with Roberto Pisano of the Polytechnic University of Turin, they have finished experimental testing of the technology.
With support from the FDA, they are now making a research-grade machine with expected completion in 2021.