Gently Encapsulating APIs with IamFluidics at CPHI Barcelona

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Pharmaceutical Technology Europe® spoke with Dr. Tom Kamperman from IamFluidics, a Dutch high-tech company that develops customized microencapsulation solutions, at the inaugural Start-Up Market on the show floor at CPHI Barcelona 2023.


Encapsulating active ingredients within microspheres has proven to be an effective approach to drug delivery. Not only does the coating of the API provide protection against degradation, but it is also possible for developers to control the release of the active ingredient over a set amount of time.

A spin-off company from the University of Twente in The Netherlands, IamFluidics, is pioneering a new technology called in-air microfluidics, which is precise and scalable, as well as being more sustainable than traditional microencapsulation approaches. At CPHI Barcelona 2023, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe® spoke with Dr. Tom Kamperman, co-founder and chief technology officer of IamFluidics, to learn more.

Like wearing a coat

“We work on microfluidics, and the microparticles are difficult to see; they are very small,” Kamperman said. “The active ingredients [are] not stable [and so] we want to stabilize them by encapsulating them, creating a protective shell, like wearing a coat.”

However, once the product is administered, the ‘coat’ should come off to allow the functional ingredients to perform their jobs, Kamperman explained. “Basically, that is what we do.”

Added benefits

Microencapsulation can also help formulators to overcome issues such as poor solubility, Kamperman remarked. “Hydrophobic components can be encapsulated in a hydrophilic shell to make them compatible with a hydrophilic base, or vice-versa,” he said.

As an example, Kamperman highlighted a proof of concept with curcumin as a hydrophobic antioxidant. “[Curcumin] is very difficult to solubilize and to put into formulations,” he stressed. “But, when we encapsulate it, [curcumin] can be easily mixed throughout aqueous formulation and also absorption is much better.”

Further development

IamFluidics have developed a few products that are ready to be commercialized, but to develop further, the company is seeking out partnerships. “We are looking for partners to further develop and bring to market the air microfluidics technology that we have,” Kamperman confirmed. “It's a microfluidics microencapsulation technology that has a lot of potential and we need people to collaborate with us to make it big.”

IamFluidics was featured at the inaugural Start-Up Market on the show floor at CPHI Barcelona 2023. CPHI Barcelona ran from Oct. 24–26, 2023.