3M

Developing an innovative nasal-to-brain drug delivery system

Our two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with 3M HealthCare Ltd has progressed the development of an innovative nasal-to-brain (N-t-B) drug delivery system.

Novel image analysis techniques applied to CT scans of human heads have improved the company’s understanding of the human nasal cavity, and predictive engineering has facilitated a greater insight into the device design required for optimal drug delivery.

Benefits for the company

The knowledge accumulated during the KTP is now embedded in the company, not least with the employment of the KTP’s Associate. The predictive engineering skills developed during the KTP will help to inform all future early-phase product development projects, making them more time efficient and cost effective than more conventional iterative approaches.

The company acknowledges that it is now equipped to be more competitive in the growing drug delivery marketplace, and is ready to take N-t-B drug delivery prototypes into laboratory and proof-of-concept trials.

Benefits for the University

The KTP has resulted in the employment of one of the University’s PhD students to support ongoing R&D in this field. It has also provided 17 student projects, giving future experts real industry problem-solving experience.

Meanwhile, academic colleagues have enhanced their own insight of product development and their potential role as consultants to accelerate R&D.

“The KTP has made a fundamental contribution to 3M’s understanding of the human nasal cavity and how to design a device for effective nasal drug delivery. The University’s engineers have contributed high-level expertise in predictive modelling which is accelerating development.”

Dr Chris Blatchford – Senior Analytical Specialist, 3M HealthCare Ltd

Meet the expert

Photograph of Henk Versteeg

Henk Versteeg

Senior Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics