Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) News

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Expanding Capabilities:
SwRI opens a Materials Chemistry and Microencapsulation Facility

San Antonio -- November 8, 2001 -- Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), a pioneer in microencapsulation technology, has opened a new 14,400 sq. ft. facility to enhance its capabilities in this and other areas of materials chemistry.

"This new facility enables us to expand our existing capabilities and offer improved service and capabilities to our clients," said Dr. Michael MacNaughton, vice president of SwRI's Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. "This is an opportunity for us to meet a growing demand for microencapsulation and materials chemistry work."

The Institute has more than 50 years of experience in the microencapsulation of products for the pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, consumer goods, and food industries and has pioneered the development of new microencapsulation techniques. This process is used to mask taste, improve preservation, lengthen shelf life, and provide nutritional value. The new SwRI laboratories allow for larger scale-up in these areas.

"More microencapsulation technologies are available at SwRI than are available at any other site in the U.S. or abroad," said Mary Marshall, director of SwRI's Microcapsules, Coatings, and Polymers Department within the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division. "We employ diverse methods and coatings, and we can also handle custom encapsulation research and production." The enhanced capability enables the Institute to expand its food and pharmaceutical work to handle cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) under the Food and Drug Administration. Also, the Institute is approved by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to work with controlled substances.

The new facility includes a materials chemistry and synthesis laboratory, materials characterization instrumentation, two polymer-processing rooms, and support functions in compliance with the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division ISO 9002 system. The new facility also has a microencapsulation preparatory laboratory, a food laboratory, a food preparation room, a tableting and extrusion room, a cGMP spray dryer high bay room, two pharmaceutical cGMP laboratories, plus office space and a conference room.

For more information, contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, at  (210) 522-2256, fax (210) 522-3547.

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