A Mocha Tablet for Your Mouth
You’re driving down the highway late at night and desperately
need something to stay awake. No rest stop in sight? No problem.
Reaching for a Caffé Magia French vanilla cappuccino tablet, you
dissolve it in your mouth, a burst of coffee flavor melting on your
tongue along with 75 mg of caffeine.
The researcher behind this ingenuity is Kinam Park, the Showalter
Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor
of pharmaceutics. He focuses on transforming drugs, which are
basically chemicals, into forms that are dissolvable in the mouth
even without any water.
One creation Park already has commercialized is the Frosta fast-dissolving tablets that can melt in your mouth as quickly as 10
seconds, with pleasant taste. His coffee pill, along with a calcium
tablet, flaxseed tablet, and a tablet that turns into toothpaste, are
currently being made by his company Akina, housed in Purdue
Research Park. The Frosta technology has also been used for
headache, allergy and other medicines.
In addition to these fast-dissolving formulations, Park also is
developing slow-release, injectable microparticles that can be
administered under the skin and last up to six months. Applications
range from treatment of macular degeneration to cancer.
“I want to make formulations that help human patients,” he says.
“When I started 35 years ago, it was the dark age in formulation
science. It used to take weeks to make and test microparticles. Now
it takes only hours with 3-D milling and 3-D printing devices.” | L. T.
From Scab-resistant to Scrumptious
CrimsonCrisp, Pixie Crunch, GoldRush. Meander down to your
local apple orchard, and you may discover one of the tasty varieties
created by the PRI Apple Breeding Program. A decades-long
collaboration between Purdue University, Rutgers University,
and the University of Illinois, the program turned out dozens of
varieties now popular worldwide for pies, fresh eating and cider.
“CrimsonCrisp, they really like it in Italy and France,” says Jules
Janick, the James Troop Distinguished Professor of Horticulture