Taking a microfluidic approach to the production of taxane chemotherapeutics


Researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal are using chips from Dolomite Microfluidics to manufacture taxane-loaded nanoparticle chemotherapeutics. Cláudia Martins, a PhD student in the Nanomedicines and Translational Drug Delivery group led by Professor Bruno Sarmento, explained: “Our main focus is on glioblastoma, the most common and deadliest type of brain cancer. Glioblastoma has a median survival time of just 15 months, mainly due to the lack of effective chemotherapies, and we have developed a microfluidic approach to enhance the properties of taxane-loaded nanoparticles for its treatment. This protocol can be applied to all taxane-based chemotherapeutics as, by modifying the surface properties and target ligands, we can direct each nanomedicine to a specific cancer.”


Cláudia Martins (PhD student) and Prof. Bruno Sarmento.


“Initially, we used conventional bulk production methods, but these were not ideal for the manufacture of monodisperse nanoparticle populations. By taking a microfluidics approach, we have been able to achieve monodispersity and the smaller particle sizes that enhance the delivery of drugs across the blood-brain barrier­. A further advantage is the ability to scale up production by continuous manufacturing, simply extending the run time until we reach the required yield of the nanomedicine. This reduces the consumption of precious reagents and minimizes waste compared to traditional bulk production. We’ve been using Dolomite chips for a long time now. They are reliable and cost effective, and allow us to achieve the batch-to-batch reproducibility that we need for nanomedicines.”


  1. Martins C., Sarmento B. (2020) Microfluidic Manufacturing of Multitargeted PLGA/PEG Nanoparticles for Delivery of Taxane Chemotherapeutics. In: Jain K. (eds) Drug Delivery Systems. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2059. Humana, New York, NY.


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