The Microencapsulation Section in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) focuses on solving customer application problems using a wide variety of microencapsulation and particle coating technologies. These services are offered to a broad spectrum of industries such as food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, consumer and personal care products, agricultural veterinary medicine, industrial chemicals, biotechnology, biomedical, and sensors. For more than 50 years, extensive research efforts have developed custom-made microcapsules and microspheres by selecting appropriate shell compositions, depending on product application. Typically, the goal is to establish proof-of-concept for a viable product application. Once successful, SwRI offers pilot plant scale-up capabilities, production experience, and product assistance to deliver encapsulated product for the commercial market.
SwRI microencapsulation is a vertically integrated, world-class microencapsulation capability that offers a broad-based technology platform. SwRI provides quality service including feasibility study, product and process optimization, production, equipment fabrication/sale, and system integration.
Microencapsulation Technical Strengths
- Formulation development:
- Design of custom microencapsulated formulations to meet requirements for size, payload, chemical resistance, thermal stability, release control, physical strength, shelf-life, taste masking, controlled (sustained, delayed, or targeted) release rates
- Production of research quantities to market scale from 0.5 micrometers and as large as 6 milliliters in diameter
- Design and process development:
- Selection of suitable process technology from SwRI’s microencapsulation technology platform to meet client’s product economics and production requirements
- Improve existing unit operations and develop new technologies for processing of microcapsules
- Production services: Scale-up and production know-how to meet client’s specific needs including pilot-scale production, component fabrication, and system integration
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility: Approximately 4000 sq ft with separate suites for food and pharmaceutical research and small-scale production activities
- Pharmaceutical research: Formulation development using current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), pharmacokinetic (PK) studies, method development and validation for controlled-release systems, in vitro release testing, and physical characterization of the encapsulated formulations
To learn more about microencapsulation technology at SwRI, visit microencapsulation.swri.org.