3D printed medical marijuana inhaler first of its kind

For the past four years, a design team consisting of mechanical and electrical engineers, physicians, pharmacologists, chemists and biologists have been working together to create the Syqe Inhaler. The inhaler is the brainchild of Syqe Medical Ltd, an Israeli government backed start-up company whose goal is to “transform cannabis and other psychoactive botanicals into mainstream medical drugs.”

Because the use of medical marijuana is still relatively new, information regarding proper dosage amounts remains somewhat unknown. According to a Wall Street Journal report, one of the reasons medical marijuana continues to lack mainstream acceptance is due to doctors being unable to “fine tune” doses and rely instead on “trial and error with cannabis cigarettes, vaporizers and edibles.”

The Syqe medical marijuana inhaler

The Syqe medical marijuana inhaler

Syqe Press Kit

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The inhaler allows physicians to prescribe a controlled dosage of marijuana to patients and gauge the effectiveness of the dose, making adjustments if needed. The initial dosage begins at one milligram, giving both patients and doctors the ability to assess the medicinal benefits without getting the patients high. Syqe Medical CEO, Perry Davidson, told Shalom Life:

“A physician could prescribe a custom-tailored, individualized treatment for [a] patient, and not have a hit or a miss, but a very close hit on the accurate dosing that the patient required.”

The two inhalers developed are the Syqe Inhaler and the Syqe Inhaler Exo. According to a Forbes report, seventy-five percent of the parts in both inhalers were were printed on Stratasys 3D printers. Different materials were used to create various parts of the inhalers in order to ensure “rigidity, clarity, biocompatibility, and heat resistance” according to Davidson. He told Plastics Today:

“Since metered dose inhalation of raw botanicals is a highly unconventional undertaking, we had to develop the tooling and machines for many of our processes. More than half of our production equipment, jigs and analytical tools were printed in house.”

The inhalers are also Wifi enabled, which allows them to be connected to a smart phone or tablet for monitoring. The Syqe Inhaler is designed for in-home use, while the Exo, which contains preloaded cartridges of cannabis granules, is the hospital version of the inhaler. Both inhalers are scheduled to be released in late 2014 to early 2015.

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