Change the world

Research Chair in Microfluidic Bio/Chemical Processing

Synthesis of APIs

One of the key objectives of the group will be to participate in the development of conceptually new prototypes of small-scale flow reactor platforms for synthesis of generic drugs that are needed within Africa. In particular, the proposed research will focus on:

- The streamlining of synthesis, in order to reduce the number of steps and to enable the drug    candidate to be manufactured more efficiently with reduced costs,

In-line reaction work up and purification,

Real-time, in-line analytics to ensure quality

The creation of highly efficient technologies and strategies to drastically cut energy use in   chemical synthesis

Preparation of particle based products

Micro reactors have also been used as tool in the synthesis of nanoparticles where controlled and reproducible synthesis conditions are required, as any changes in the temperature or concentration across a reactor vessel can lead to significant variations in particle size and quality. To ensure that a narrow size distribution of particles is achieved, it is essential that the reagents mix thoroughly on a time scale that is shorter than the reaction itself. Several opportunities exist in this arena since reaction miniaturisation provides the desired reaction control, while maintaining the ability to achieve production scale quantities via process intensification. Examples of such opportunities include particle size distribution control for drug actives, catalyst particles and catalyst support particles. However, the significant research challenge in this area relates to the synthesis of particles in channels which can result in blocking. Consequently research is needed to ensure that the mixing performance is appropriate, whilst ensuring that the reactor dimensions are capable of handling free flowing solids.