New controlled release tech platform aims to enhance drug, fertilizer delivery – and more

​Lucideon, a materials development and commercialization organization that is dedicated to developing materials and products, in collaboration with industry partners, that meet the real needs of the market today and has recently opened a facility in RTP to serve the needs of North Carolina, has developed a new innovative controlled release technology called iCRT.

The modern world of active compound and nutrient delivery faces a variety of problems which could be offset, or even solved, by introducing new levels of control. Lucideon’s recently announced iCRT technology platform delivers compounds at controlled rates, delivering key ingredients as and when they are needed. The triggers that initiate the release of the loaded substance can be tailored, to allow highly targeted application of drugs, nutrients and other compounds. Release triggers can be modified to be responsive to environmental cues such as, pH, temperature and moisture.

The delivery platform is produced using GRAS (generally recognized as safe) materials which breakdown, following application, into ubiquitous ions, making it safe for human application and release into the environment.

iCRT can be used for a range of different applications, but much of Lucideon’s and its partners focus has been around drug delivery, drug abuse deterrence, fertilizer delivery and as a replacement material for microbeads.

iCRT can enhance the bioavailability of poorly soluble, or low stability compounds and can be applied to both oral and injectable formulations to improve product efficacy without the need for complex manufacturing processes. iCRT also increases bioavailability due to its high control levels, dissolution rates, loading capacities, stability (without a need to freeze dry), and its ability to keep the loaded compound in its amorphous state. Advantages include better targeted treatment for the patient, reduced waste of the active product, and ease of manufacture for otherwise difficult-to-handle compounds.

Abuse and tampering can be restricted by the inherent features of iCRT which include particulate loading of active ingredients, very high melting temperatures (the majority of excipients would boil off before the technology melts), a tough structure (requires industrial milling to breakdown) and insolubility in common household solvents.

In Ag Bio applications the use of controlled release technologies has been well documented for many years. Recently, some countries, for fear that polymers (a common coating in many controlled release fertilizers) could harm the environment are considering limiting the use of polymer-based coatings. Because iCRT is a non-polymer alternative which has already found use in high-end grass fertilizer for sports fields it can easily be applied as an alternative for polymer-based controlled release technologies.

The recent proposal to ban microbeads in cosmetic and beauty products, in the UK and other countries, has meant that new product formulations have had to be developed for a large range of products. Microbeads are used to exfoliate the skin due to their abrasive nature. iCRT can be used as an alternative to the polymer microbeads, giving the same effects while being able to breakdown harmlessly in the environment after use, into safe and commonly found ions.

iCRT offers a versatile, highly compatible and safe option for those looking to utilize controlled release technologies for almost any application. Pressures are likely to rise from governments and consumers for products to become more efficient and environmentally-friendly, driving the need for these kinds of technologies. And in healthcare, the demands for safer and high performance drug products that meet patient needs, while reducing the risk of abuse, will help to reduce costs to health providers and increase safety for the patient.  Lucideon is using its controlled release platform to meet the growing demands of the world, which only advanced technologies can deliver in a reliable, safe and more sustainable way.

Lucideon is a materials development and commercialization organization that is dedicated to developing materials and products, in collaboration with industry partners, that meet the real needs of the market today and has recently opened a facility in RTP to serve the needs of North Carolina.