Forumulation and Delivery
The School has a wide range of equipment required for the formulation, manufacture and testing of medicines. From conventional oral dosage forms such as tablets, capsules, suspensions and emulsions, to speciality products based on ‘fast-melt’, controlled release, bioadhesive and nano-scale technologies, the group is extremely well-equipped to undertake scientific studies. For example, a complete range of equipment necessary for the dry and wet granulation of drugs and excipients for manufacturing as powders and tablets is available. These include, a Cullati Hammer Mill, Copley AR400 Cube Blender, Erweka AR400 Planetary Mixer, Erweka AR400 Oscillating Granulator and a Aeromatic Minipro Granulator. Tablets can be produced with one of two, automated, Manesty Tablet Presses while powder flow properties are measured using a Copley GT Granulator Flow Tester and a Copley SVM-22 Tap Volumeter. Tablet hardness is quantified using a choice of automated tablet testers and an industry standard, tablet disintegration tester. Drug dissolution studies also conform to pharmacopoeial standards and include paddle-stirrer, rotating basket (USP II) or flow-through cell types (USP IV). Fully automated Sotax systems are available.
Production of more complex oral modified release delivery systems (OMRSs) such as those based on extrusion/spheronisation or spray-drying are also possible. A Copley Sieve & Basket Extruder with both 1 and 2 mm extrusion screens and a Spheroniser 120 with cross-hatch, friction-plate design are used. Used in conjunction with a B-191 Büch Mini Spray-Drier or an Aeromatic Fluidised-Bed/Spray Coater, most OMRSs can be readily manufactured.
Other formulation types based on solutions, suspensions, emulsions, semi-solids and gels, are regularly investigated with a view to both traditional and novel applications (1). For example, top-of-the-range, bench-scale, freeze-drying technology is available for the controlled production of lyophilised wafers (2) and other freeze-dried products while a new Soniprep Ultra-Sonic Probe and Malvern Photo-Correlation Zeta/Nano-Sizer are used in the manufacture and characterisation of nano-scale, self-assemblies (3) and microemulsions. Material characterisation using a range of modern thermal, mechanical, light-scattering and rheological instruments is also possible. Available instruments include, a TA Q100 Differential Scanning Calorimeter with Refrigerated Cooling; TA XT-2 Texture Analyser; Malvern Mastersizer with small sample dispersion and powder-flow accessories; TA AR1000 Dynamic Rheometer and Brookfield DVII Viscometer.
Research is housed in a newly refurbished, extensively equipped laboratory suitable for conducting both solution and solid phase synthetic procedures. This is complimented by wide range of analytical equipment including; 400 MHz nmr, GCMS, LCMS, multiple HPLC's (analytical and preparative), GC, FT-IR, UV and Fluorescence spectrometers. X-ray data sets on novel compounds are obtained via the EPSRC National Crystallographic Service at Southampton University and in-house X-ray computer software includes WinGX, DASH and the Cambridge Structural Database. Molecular modelling simulations are performed on a Silicon Graphics Octane 1200 workstation running Insight II discovery software on a UNIX platform or a Hewlett Packard XP8200 workstation also running Insight II with LINUX.
Pharmacy Education & Pharmacy Practice
We have high quality audio and video recording equipment, transcribing equipment and software for transcribing interviews. We have active and supportive research groups in pharmacy practice and pharmacy education research groups with input into research themes within the Faculty of Health and Social Care. We have collaborative links with academia (University of Aberdeen, Cardiff University, Liverpool John Moores University), local and national NHS and strategy and policy units (Scottish Executive Health Department, NHS Education for Scotland).