Monday, March 11, 2013

Hewlett-Packard Uses its InkJet Technology for Medication Production

Photo courtesy by PopSci.
Hewlett-Packard, an American multinational information technology corporation, has been revealed by PopSci it's workings to aid a medication production, applying their inkjet technology into the pharmaceutical arena through its Direct Digital Dispenser or HP D300. According to, "the machine, 10 years in the making, utilises printhead technology from the OEM’s inkjet machines to help scientists and researchers create new medications for use in healthcare."

The technology actually came from the same inkjet technology used in the OfficeJet Pro X's printhead that contains 42,240 nozzles that jet out inkjet drops of six picoliters each to create a finesse touch. Upon such use, HP realized that the same technology can be applied to pharmaceutical processes and be used to make new medicines. 

Joe Dody, Business Manager of Speciality Printing Systems for HP stated: "We imagined the application and we worked with customers to convince ourselves and the industry that we were creating value in doing it,” he says, “So we gained support from HP to make a business out of it."

“A researcher applies between 200,000 to a million drops of the compound to test against the disease target and they hope that 10,000 are actually hits," Dody says. "Then they can determine what’s common between molecules and what’s the dose at which these drug molecules are causing a positive interaction with disease." With precious little fluid and the need to create doses that span six orders of magnitude from one to one million concentration units in a process called serial dilution, Dody says 95 percent of the work and materials end up wasted. Not to mention that developing a drug this way can take up to 15 years and failed attempts can cost $1.5 billion.

"That is where we come in,” he says.

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