Manufacturing medication tailored for you Controlled, on-demand microfluidic production of personalised medicines


Blacktrace Holdings Ltd., Royston, United Kingdom


Personalised medicine is opening up a whole new world in healthcare, moving away from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach – that may not be effective in all cases – towards therapies tailored to the individual patient. This has created a need for efficient production of small quantities of customised therapeutics, which must be reproducibly and reliably manufactured on demand. As a result, there is now considerable interest in continuous flow manufacturing, which takes advantage of the precise control offered by microfluidic techniques.


Personalised medicine is by no means a new concept. Every individual is unique, and their health is influenced by inherited genetic differences, combined with variations in lifestyle and other environmental factors. Throughout the history of medicine, healthcare professionals have sought to tailor care to each person’s specific needs, and new technologies are enabling novel approaches, such as whole genome sequencing and the use of data and informatics, to be implemented. This information can help to identify an individual’s risk of developing a disease, detect illness earlier, provide an accurate diagnosis, and determine a patient’s likely response to specific interventions, from simple changes in lifestyle and diet to targeted treatments.

The traditional approach to drug development assumes that all patients with a particular condition respond in the same manner to a given drug; the same first line treatment is given to all patients suffering from the same condition even though it may only be 30 to 60 % effective (1). In contrast, personalised medicine recognises that complex ...