Does an adapted oral syringe help in administration of sprinkles?

This week we conducted a study based at ThinkTank Science museum in Birmingham to look at whether multiparticules (very tiny sprinkle formulations) can be administered using an oral syringe.

The study had two parts:

  1. Can parents use the syringe and get an accurate dose?
  2. What do children think of the administration of these sprinkles directly into their mouths?

We have not done our analysis yet but had really good fun conducting the study


Here are some photosDSC05363DSC05282DSC05236


Mascot study: do coatings help in taste masking and swallowability of tablets in children?

We recently undertook a study to examine whether tablet coatings would improve the mouthfeel and taste-masking in children to make better tabelts. Below is a poster that summarises the study. Many thanks to all those who participated!Dissemination poster - Mascot Kids

Latest study looking at childrens’ ability to swallow tablets

We have just completed a study to investigate whether children are able to swallow tablets and whether coatings make any difference to the mouthfeel.

The results are not yet ready for dissemination but there were a few things I learnt from delivery of this study:

  1. Research students do a fantastic job!
  2. Twitter is a useful tool to attract participants
  3. Children and parents love a mini lab-coat
  4. Certificates are appreciated
  5. Puppets can be easier to respond to compared to humans
  6. Thinktank Science museum are great hosts for a study

I am excited about the results and will share these once available. In the mean time I just wanted to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all who participated.

Coatings that improve the swallowability of tablets…

I have mainly been working on children’s medicines but sometimes I look at other aspects. Issues in swallowing are not limited to children and up to 40% of adults have difficulty in swallowing their tablets. We did some research to find out whether coatings that are designed to be slippery can help in swallowing tablets and the results are now available here.

In summary – we found that YES! the coating applied can make a tablet easier to swallow where you need less water and it takes less time to swallow. Hopefully the same technologies can be applied for tablets for all populations to make medicines easier to take.


Extra “special” populations!

Having just posted about special populations I received an email to inform me that a recent paper that was written in conjunction with Sandra Klein at the University of Greifswald has just been published.

Here is a link.

This work specifically explored the impact of malnutrition on drug absorption in children. Malnutrition affects the gastro-intestinal physiology with impacts on every stage from saliva production through the stomach and into the small intestine. These differences mean that orally administered medicines may not be absorbed in the same was as in healthy adults. Most medicines are tested in healthy adults and then the findings used to predict how they are likely to work in a range of different populations. The paper summarized the main differences and where these differences may be important for this most vulnerable population.

“Special” populations

This week I attended a meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the UNGAP project. The European Network on Understanding Gastrointestinal Absorption-related Processes (UNGAP) is a multidisciplinary Network of scientists aiming to advance the field of intestinal drug absorption by focussing on 4 major challenges: (i) differences between specific patient populations, (ii) regional differences along the gastrointestinal tract, (iii) the intraluminal behaviour of advanced formulations, and (iv) the food-drug interface.

I was presenting on administration to “special” populations which encompassed both children and older adults – there are many similarities in these groups and the inclusion of carers in the administration process adds a layer of complexity.

Whilst there I heard many other interesting presentations with particular highlights including reviews on how food can affect drug performance and how we can make models to better predict drug absorption in these special populations.

It was fantastic to hear that outreach to the public is part of the UNGAP project and that there are opportunities to share the amazing work on so many platforms. There was even talk of a comic as an outreach mechanism.