JACKSON THORNTON, PH.D
Associate Director of Research
I earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science from North Carolina State University, where my research focused on plasma chemistry, surface modification, and materials testing.
My job: At TriboFilm, I’m fortunate to help some of the largest pharma companies in the world – as well as startup biotech / medical device makers reduce stiction (yes, that is a word!) and sub-visible particles. This in turn reduces product recall risk and improves patient safety. When your work directly impacts medical devices that save lives, it’s easy to be motivated!
Current focus: I’m helping a client reduce glide forces and break-loose forces for an auto-injector device, as well as improving the dose accuracy of numerous insulin infusion pumps.
Another topic is to evaluate the effect of agitation on generation of sub-visible particles in protein formulations packaged in glass and plastic pre-fillable syringes.
“At a client’s request, we recently initiated research to reduce sub-visible particulates from syringe plungers. Using our already proven TriboLink-Si® platform, we are running tests to reduce the amount of extractable silicone oil particles from the syringe plunger, which can be a significant contributor of sub-visible particles in a container closure system. If you are struggling with this same problem, or would like to be notified when our research data is available, contact us.”
Key Insight: I’ve learned that while lubricant selection is only a small part of the overall device development cycle, it can derail an entire project if it isn’t identified and managed early.
DR. JACKSON THORNTON’S TIP ON DRUG PACKAGING SELECTION
“It’s frustrating for drug companies developing pre-filled devices when they are forced to modify a drug formulation because of packaging limitations. Everyone in the supply chain has a bias based on the technologies they are familiar with. We can connect you with syringe, plunger, and other packaging providers that might prove useful.”
JEROME J. CUOMO PH.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors and President - Member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Medal of Technology Laureate
After 30 years at IBM, I came to North Carolina to start a new phase in my life as a Distinguished Research Professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. There, I met Vinay Sakhrani, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Though I co-invented and helped commercialized multi-million dollar projects at IBM, this was my first time as a start-up entrepreneur. Almost two decades later, I’m so proud of what TriboFilm Research has achieved, and the impact we are having in the medical device industry.
DR. CUOMO’S QUIZ QUESTION
“When I explain our technology, the reaction I often get is “so TriboGlide-DS® is the ‘intel inside’ for medical devices and pre-filled containers that cannot use silicone oil.” After you see our demo, I would love to know how you would describe it!
Want to Know Our Origin Story? Click Here to Read the Entire Article!
This is the 20 year behind-the-scenes story of how innovation really happens. ‘Innovation’ is only glamorous-sounding when you’re attending a panel discussion at a conference. In the real world, it is a squiggly, messy path with so many wrong turns.
It was the summer of 1996, and I was a Material Science Master’s student at NC State eating a whole lot of ramen noodles.... [More]
DAN JONSEN, PH.D.
Principal Scientist & Quality System Manager
For over 20 years, I have been designing, constructing, optimizing and automating equipment and processes for multiple advanced surface engineering applications in the medical device, semiconductor, aerospace, pharmaceutical, packaging, and many other industries.
My core expertise includes subject mastery of multiple surface engineering techniques, including thin film deposition, ion beam and plasma processing, and ion implantation.
At TriboFilm, I also oversee our quality management system for any small-scale manufacturing services we provide to prospective licensees.
DR. DAN JONSEN on REDUCING EXTRACTABLES
“At TriboFilm, we take a cross-disciplinary approach to solving problems in the medical field. I have used my experience in semiconductor processing and automotive applications to develop coatings that can reduce leachables and extractables from pharmaceutical containers. Get in touch if you would like to know how to reduce the propensity for glass delamination in your medical device.”
We credit our success to our relationships in the industry. Here are just a handful of them. Over the years, we have partnered with many companies and consultants, and these collaborations have contributed greatly to our success.
TIER 1 PARTNERS
Tier 1 Partners directly engaged with TriboFilm’s patented lubrication technologies include:
Nye Lubricants – Exclusive lubricant supplier. The TriboGlideDS technology utilizes a perfluoropolyether PFPE lubricant as the starting raw material as an alternative to silicone oil. Nye Lubricants sources this material from the manufacturer and then performs the necessary filtration steps and testing for impurities per USP standards to certify compliance to TriboGlideDS specifications.
IVEK Corporation – Exclusive equipment supplier. The critical equipment including the lubricant spray module and the atmospheric gas plasma modules are exclusively sourced from IVEK Corporation to maintain quality control. These critical modules can be further integrated by any machine integrator to maintain process flow in continuous manufacturing for various applications.
ZebraSci – Quality Control Implementation. Depending on the application it may be critical to perform 100% parts inspection to ensure uniform lubricant distribution as well as plasma treatment along the inner walls of the pharmaceutical container. This can have a big impact on the uniformity of the force profile and in turn dosage accuracy as well as particulate burden in a pharmaceutical container. ZebraSci’s optical detection technology, which was originally developed for standard silicone lubrication, can work equally well with TriboGlideDS and TriboLink-Si.
Machine Integrators – Over the years TriboFilm has worked with several machine integrators worldwide who have implemented the TriboGlideDS and TriboLink-Si lubrication technologies for several pharmaceutical container products. A partial list of these players include:
- Midwest Engineered Systems (Wisconsin, USA)
- Kahle Engineering (Italy)
- Mikron (Switzerland)
- Gerresheimer (Germany)
TIER 2 PARTNERS
Besides TriboFilm’s core lubrication technologies we collaborate with component manufacturers that play a big role in product development for pharmaceutical containers. TriboFilm has worked with several of these component manufactures and can leverage these partnerships into your product development strategy. For example:
- Plunger and stopper manufacturer – Datwyler
- Plastic container – Plastech Engineering
- Glass container – Nuova Ompi