TUM Researchers discover oil and hydrogel mixture to prevent overdosing

Team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany have created a mixture of hydrogel and oil for an extended and precise dosing of medicine.

According to scientists, the mixture will help to administer medicinal substances as the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) inside the active droplets release. This will further also reduce the risk of overdosing.

The team experimented with oil droplets. The droplets are not entirely soluble in water and hence also very stable. The molecules form complex structures inside and the oil protects the molecules by keeping them away from water.

The latest formula originated from the study on the process of unification of first molecules and the formation of precursors to initial living cells. Another application occurred to the team from the research findings.

Reports suggest the oily protective shield is not entirely water-resistant, the individual molecules react with the surrounding water. Experts reveal it is through this hydrolysis that the droplets slowly but continuously become smaller to a point that they disappear completely. “Observing these active droplets that molecules release into the water gave us the idea of ​​using them for drug dosing,” revealed Professor Job Boekhoven, lead author of the study.

The ingredients of medicines are released quickly and the effects are not long-lasting in patients. The risk of overdosing and later the risk of underdosing is therefore high.

The researchers further explain that hydrolysis breaks down the droplets and releases the API at the same rate. The dose can further be adjusted with a concentration of the API in droplets which stay the same until the droplets are broken down completely.

“With the help of the hydrolysable oil droplets, continuous dosing is very easy to implement,” said Boekhoven. “You only need three components: the oil droplets, the API and a hydrogel that stabilises the position of the droplets.”

The study published in Materials Horizon has been patented for oil hydrogel materials.