Automated Production of Nanoparticles for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications
Today’s European industry faces the challenge of achieving flexibility and efficiency in order to improve its competitive position in the global market. There are numerous industrial applications where the manufacturing process is mainly performed by human operators due to the fact that
• operations require a human-like sensitivity,
• the materials handled vary and often show unpredictable behaviors and
• often, several operators are active in order to perform parallel operations in different process stations.
The introduction of dual arm robots in production lines is inspired by human task execution and represents a novelty. The adoption of such robots in the production process seems promising as it enables multi-tasking as well as space and cost efficiency by eliminating the fixtures and clamping devices. Last but not least, the fact that dual arm robots resemble the human body structure makes the design and programming of assembly operations easier and more intuitive.
We address the task of implementing the automation process for production of diagnostic and therapeutic nanoparticle (NP) systems. Interactive robotic implements synthesis steps in a precise, efficient and quality-controlled manner under GMP-compliant conditions. This allows a reproducible manufacturing of NPs with narrow defined specifications. Especially the production of unique and small scale series, regardless of employee skills and abilities is of the highest priority. To this end, an automation process was established using a dual arm robot system that interacts with peripheral devices. The concept is based on a modular approach. The infrastructure consists of "standard" laboratory equipment, in which the hardware requires only minimal adjustment. Depending on planned synthesis processes and laboratory conditions (e.g. space requirements, existing equipment etc.), the periphery can be built up in a customer-specific way in different complexities. All devices and components of the automated system are optimized and assembled in such a way that all required movement sequences, speeds, positioning, signal and measurement parameters provide a sufficiently accurate and reproducible production process ensure. Appropriate data management is also integrated in terms of production targets, measurement storage and labelling systems. The robotic cell is designed to provide mobility for transport.