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VIDEO: Acoustic levitation to aid drug development

Daniel Gumble
VIDEO: Acoustic levitation to aid drug development

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a way to utilise sound waves to levitate individual droplets of solutions containing different pharmaceuticals in order to further the drug development process, as demonstrated in this fascinating video.

According to Argonne National Laboratory, a special relation ship emerges between levitation and drug development at a molecular level. As we’re sure you’re all aware, pharmaceutical structures fall into one of two categories at molecular level: amorphous or crystalline. Typically, amorphous drugs are more efficiently taken up by the body than their crystalline counterparts, as amorphous drugs are both more highly soluble and have a higher bioavailability, suggesting that a lower dose can produce the desired effect.

“One of the biggest challenges when it comes to drug development is in reducing the amount of the drug needed to attain the therapeutic benefit, whatever it is,” said Argonne X-ray physicist Chris Benmore, who led the study.

“Most drugs on the market are crystalline – they don’t get fully absorbed by the body and thus we aren’t getting the most efficient use out of them,” added Yash Vaishnav, Argonne senior manager for Intellectual Property Development and Commercialisation.

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For the full story on the benefits of acoustic levitation, please visit

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Tags: youtube, video, acoustic levitation, Argonne National Laboratory

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