Look at the chewing robot: its jaws are made for drug testing

Chewing gum with drugs has been recognized as a new and improved method for delivering drugs to the body. But there is one problem – there is currently no gold standard for in vitro chewing gum drug release testing. However, a new study found that a chewing robot with integrated humanoid jaws could provide pharmaceutical companies with the opportunity to develop medicinal chewing gum. The results are published by IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

The aim of the Bristol University study was to find out whether a humanoid chewing robot can evaluate the quality of medicinal chewing gum. The robot is able to reproduce chewing movements close to human ones. It has artificial saliva and allows you to measure the release of xylitol (polyhydric alcohol, used as a sweetener).

The study wanted to compare the amount of xylitol remaining in chewing gum after testing on a chewing robot and humans. The expert group also wanted to estimate the amount of xylitol released from chewing gum.

Scientists found that the chewing robot showed the same xylitol release rate as the people participating in the experiment. The highest release of xylitol occurred during the first five minutes of chewing, and after 20 minutes of chewing only a small amount of xylitol remained, regardless of the chewing method used.

Saliva and artificial saliva solutions were respectively collected after five, ten, 15, and 20 minutes of continuous chewing, and the amount of xylitol released from chewing gum was determined.

A study by scientists showed that the new robot gives pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to research medicinal chewing gum. This reduces the impact on the patient, also this method is less expensive.

The authors of the study emphasize: the most convenient way of administering drugs to patients is through oral delivery methods. An experiment using a new humanoid environment can revolutionize the oral release and delivery of drugs to the human body.