Pharmaceutical

From helping to create new drugs to designing delivery systems for patients to optimizing packaging, ANSYS tools can be leveraged by researchers and healthcare professionals all along the chain in the quest for groundbreaking cures for patients.

 

Assessment of changes in airways volume and resistance through functional imaging using CFD

Courtesy FluiDA nv.

Computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, software is a key tool in the pharmaceutical industry. This technology allows engineers to visualize and predict manufacturing processes, device performance and the effectiveness of drug delivery systems. And the regulatory approval process, the key step after years of investment in research and development, benefits greatly from the streamlined processes attained using virtual fluid dynamics analysis.

In the drug manufacturing sector, there are huge industry and regulatory requirements related to accuracy. Each batch must conform to the same specifications, and one variation on a product can result in the disqualification of an entire batch — which translates into time and money. Reducing these variations is a function of simulation software, which can conduct what-if studies for minimizing the risk of design failure. For instance, CFD can provide detailed qualitative information such as blend time, yield and gas distribution; it also can replace time-consuming processes that can lead to waste. Increasing the efficiency of the design process can result in reduced time to market for much-needed drugs along with the patent-expiration race.

impeller-cavity showing volume fraction around the contours

Courtesy Wyeth Vaccines, USA.

Creating the correct form for the drug is another challenge for pharmaceutical companies. Whether in tablet, liquid or capsule form, it must be uniform for packaging and delivery. ANSYS tools can design systems to ensure both uniformity and ingredient integrity.

In the manufacturing and transportation arenas, pharmaceuticals must arrive at their destination undamaged and at full potency. ANSYS software can be applied to design the correct packaging for each drug — ensuring that costs due to loss are eliminated. Furthermore, product engineers can turn to the same tools to develop child-proof containers or blister-packages (some with functionalities that aid patient compliance) along with assembly line processes.

Not all drugs are taken orally. Some require special intake systems, such as inhalers, intravenous needles or epidural patches. These must be designed in tandem with the specific drugs they are intended to dispense. The comprehensive multiphysics available with ANSYS software helps designers innovate drug delivery systems. By creating virtual models of a drug-dispensing device, healthcare professionals can explore how a drug reacts with its device and how efficiently it travels to the targeted area of the body.

Used in combination, the suite of ANSYS tools can streamline the drug creation process, ensuring a more efficient, accurate and cost-efficient cycle. The result: increased opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to bring more drugs to market.