Revolutionising nanoencapsulation for personalised medicine

Challenge

To develop an easy-to-use nano encapsulation equipment that enables back-to-back aseptic manufacturing for personalised medicine​ with reliable quality.

Approach

We used a holistic and system-level approach. Our multidisciplinary team of designers, UX specialists, software, electronics and mechanical engineers worked closely with LEON to develop a functional prototype.

Outcome

We prototyped a user-friendly pharmaceutical aseptic processing system, the NANOme®, for small scale nano encapsulation with shorter batch/product changeover times and lower operational cost in comparison to conventional systems.

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Personalised medicine for life-threatening diseases

Personalised medicine for life-threatening diseases is a relatively new treatment method with unmet potential. Conventional pharmaceutical manufacturing regimes are not fit for personalised medicines. Nanoparticle drug delivery vehicles, especially lipid nanoparticles, are significantly contributing to the realisation of personalised medicine. They provide a versatile and customisable platform for the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents. The ability to manufacture tailored doses to individual patient characteristics enhances treatment efficacy, reduces adverse effects and promotes more precise and patient-centric healthcare interventions.

Copyright LEON Nanodrugs

Encapsulating Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) into nanocapsules, for example genetic material such as DNA or RNA, is a promising approach for various biomedical applications, including gene therapy and drug delivery. Nano encapsulation offers protection to the genetic material from degradation, facilitates cellular uptake, and enhances therapeutic efficacy.

The future of nano encapsulation

Our client, LEON, had a proprietary platform technology for fast, easy, efficient and highly flexible nano encapsulation. They needed our support to incorporate this into a commercially available product. The objective was to develop a processing device that would achieve the following key functions: the ability to generate fluid flow without using pumps and operate using single-use disposable systems.

A leading technology for nano encapsulation

In order for the API to be encapsulated into nanoparticles, the solution containing the API and the one containing excipients need to be mixed under controlled conditions.

The starting materials are held in single-use containers, which are pre-mounted on a disposable cassette. The cassette is inserted into a benchtop NANOme® device, where liquid flow is generated by applying pressure to both containers. The starting materials flow into the mixing reactor, forming API encapsulated nanoparticles. All tubing and fluid path components are also pre-mounted on the cassette and are single-use. This cassette concept saves time by removing the need for cleaning and sterilising the equipment after each batch, reducing processing time significantly, while avoiding batch cross-contamination.

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A holistic and user-centred approach to
personalised nanoformulation manufacturing

We worked closely with LEON to put together the design vision for their benchtop system.
The user interface of the instrument needed to be efficient, robust and flexible to allow for potential future developments. The client also wanted to run the instrument through a display.

Our team of user experience designers mapped out the user journey including physical user input, user interactions with the screen and the background process of the instrument. Defining a user workflow in this way was a catalyst for the decisions that were later made with our mechanical and software teams on the physical device, including its function and scope.

The design team quickly developed the wireframes with input from the different disciplines working on the project. This early work helped identify commonalities across the system which helped us make a coherent user interface and reduced software development costs. We then developed a high-fidelity user interface by making design improvements including colour, working context, usability and typography.

We kept a user-first approach from the initial stages of the project which influenced the way that the instrument was built and helped us advance the prototype. We turned a complex machine into a simple, harmonious and aesthetically coherent experience.

user-journey-mapping
person using the user interface of the benchtop system

Outcome

We used our full multidisciplinary skillset to help our client develop a ground-breaking pharmaceutical manufacturing device. This instrument drastically improves the standard for producing sterile personalised nanoformulations, while also removing any risk for cross-contamination of the batches.

NANOme® represents a significant advancement in nano encapsulation of medications for personalised medicine and takes us one step closer to our vision of making advanced therapies globally accessible.

LEON Nanodrugs
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iF Design Award win for Leon Nanodrugs

NANOme® has received an iF Design Award for its novel design and potential to impact patient lives.

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