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IPFL accelerates move away from animal drug testing

IPFL accelerates the move away from animal drug testing


A British engineering and manufacturing firm is playing a major part in eliminating animal testing in pharmaceutical research and development.


Combining over 50 years of expertise in precision plastic manufacturing with the latest cutting-edge technology, IPFL's Micro 3D Printing processes produce devices that can mimic human physiology, removing the need for animals in early-stage drug testing. Research facilities in Europe currently use approximately 80,000 animals each year in such research.


IPFL's Micro 3D Printing services make use of one of the most accurate 3D printing methods available to the industry - Projection Micro Stereolithography (PµSL) 3D Printing developed by Boston Micro Fabrication (BMF). This can produce intricate three-dimensional structures with exceptional resolution, allowing the creation of complex microfluidic channels as small as 40 microns - approximately the size of a single fine dust particle - in width. The process can resolve dimensions down to 2 microns, which is the typical size of a single mould spore.


Devices with these microfluidic channels can realistically illustrate how a drug circulates and spreads within human tissues. Devices can be made with compartments that can usefully simulate major organs, connected by a microfluidic network mimicking the circulatory system.


Combined with a recent development by scientists from the University of Edinburgh, this technology allows 3D-printed ‘body-on-chip' devices that could replace animals in early-stage testing. Body-on-chip, organ-on-chip, and lab-on-chip devices can all make use of this new technology. IPFL's existing designs include a Double Droplet Generator Chip, using microfluidics to turn drug samples into microdroplets for more efficient delivery and a Spiral Sorter Chip, which uses the force generated within a tiny spiral channel on the chip to sort cells and particles based on their size and weight.


Adam Bloomfield, Additive Manufacturing Manager at IPFL, said: "Ending the need for animal testing without sacrificing the effectiveness of testing and research is something we all want to see. We look forward to a future where drug testing is not only more humane but more efficient and more representative of human responses.


"IPFL is at the forefront, ready to support researchers and pharmaceutical companies with our state-of-the-art Micro 3D Printing technologies. I believe this not only represents a significant step forward in medical research but also underscores our commitment to innovation and excellence in the realm of microfabrication."


About IPFL

IPFL is a family-run business with a heritage of industry-leading expertise in the manufacture of bespoke plastic parts. Founded in 1969, the company built a reputation for high-quality prototype and experimental plastic parts. Continually embracing new technologies while retaining its expertise and artisanal skills, IPFL adopted CNC machining in the 1980s and 3D printing in 2003 - making it one of the earliest adopters in the industry. The firm has continued to adopt the latest developments in technology, technique and materials and now offers industry-leading quality and precision.

Specialising in prototype, bespoke, and on-demand parts, IPFL's services are utilised across various industries, including automotive and motorsport, medical and pharmaceutical, scientific instrumentation, film and TV, and Defence and Security, among many applications. The company's commitment to quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction positions it as a leader in the field of plastic part manufacturing.




For further press information please contact:

Jack Grover


T: 01733 890836