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Technology Development

Science meets imagination

At TTP, we design and engineer great products, but what sets us apart is our technology development.  We disrupt by creating new technology solutions, taking them from concept to prototype all the way through to product engineering and manufacture.

We don’t just design solutions. We make new things happen with technology. From helping people to see, to delivering medication, our technology is in the world, making a difference.

Case Study

Disc Pump

The silent solution

 

 

There are many applications where a small, silent gas pump is needed, ranging from fuel cells and scientific instrumentation through to consumer goods and medical devices. TTP took a unique approach to meeting this need when it developed Disc Pump, a new, acoustic-based technology solution.

Gas pumps are typically large, noisy and inefficient compared with a liquid pump, as a lot of energy and effort can be expended in simply compressing the gas. The key TTP innovation was to apply a new accoustic approach to creating a pressure gradient. In place of a traditional cavity that changes volume to create the pressure gradient, the acoustic pump has a fixed cavity.

 

The pressure gradient is produced through use of an accousic standing wave in a resonant cavity, with a valve placed at a node or anti-node to control flow.

TTP’s Disc Pump can be a positive or negative pressure pump, and is atypical in that it is small, silent, and non-pulsatile, showing almost no output pressure oscillation.

Medical and consumer health are two sectors that show the greatest demand for this technology, where small size and silent operation mean that products that use pumps (e.g. negative-pressure wound care, inflatable vascular cuffs, blood pressure cuff, respiratory ventilators, CPAP) can take on a completely new form factor; in most cases an ambulatory version can be made.

When a new technology is developed, there is often a consequential need to develop new manufacturing processes and equipment. As part of a complete commercial cycle, TTP developed the manufacturing processes and manufacturing equipment for Disc Pump to allow the production of millions of units per year.

“We see a growing trend towards miniaturisation, portability and discrete operation in markets such as medical devices, diagnostics and electronics driving demand for small, silent, high-performance pumps. Responding to this need with an entirely new technology is very exciting.”

 

Professor Sir Peter Knight
President of IOP, on presenting the Innovation Award from the Institute of Physics to TTP for developing and commercialising the Disc Pump.

Case study

Electronic lenses

A revolution in ophthalmics

Recognising the drawbacks of traditional bifocals, TTP focused its ophthalmics expertise on creating a ground-breaking technology to create a new class of lens.

As we age, the lens of the human eye loses elasticity (presbyopia) and reading glasses become a necessity. For those who are already myopic, the onset of presbyopia leaves them with three options: to have two pairs of glasses; a pair of the Benjamin Franklin’s 1784 innovation bifocals; or the updated version of progressive lenses, where the bifocal lens is blended to appear continuous.

 

With specialist knowledge in optics and ophthalmics, TTP turned its attention to improving these options and invented the cholesteric liquid crystal electronic lens. This technology allows a lens to change focal length electronically; the lens shifts from distance to near vision in milliseconds, at the flick of a switch.

How it works

A diffractive lens has an optical power which is defined by the pitch and an efficiency defined by the phase change from the depth of the structure. Combining a cholesteric liquid crystal (nearly independent of polarisation) with the diffractive structure allows the phase change to be switched between zero (no optical power) to 2pi (optical power).

Realising innovation

Traditionally, in order to achieve optical power change, you need either to bring about a large increase in refractive index, or a large change in the physical size of the lens.

Our innovation was born of the realisation that by leveraging a small refractive index change with a diffractive lens, we could achieve this power change, revolutionising ophthalmics.

With this world-beating proprietary technology, TTP developed the idea into a product, with the manufacturing process for a start-up business being backed by some of the world’s leading VC funds.

Case Study

PARI eFlow®

A life-changing inhaler

 

 

The eFlow® was developed in partnership with PARI GmbH, applying TTP’s proprietary electronic atomiser technology, TouchSpray™ to create an innovative inhalation system for the treatment of respiratory diseases.

You breathe in. You breathe out. This happens about 20,000 times a day, without a second thought. But if you have cystic fibrosis, chronic asthma, or another respiratory disease, it’s a different story. You may need a regular dose of drugs delivered straight into your lungs, just to keep you alive.

Deep lung penetration requires a highly controlled droplet size — too small and the droplets are exhaled, too large and they’ll land in the back of the throat.

TTP’s challenge was to find a better way to deliver liquid-phase drugs directly into the lungs, one that would increase drug efficacy and eliminate propellant gases.

The solution was TouchSpray™, a chamberless, planar nozzle plate driven by a piezoelectric actuator. The inertial transfer mechanism generates a highly defined aerosol of liquid droplets at the touch of a button.

The invention of this breakthrough technology ultimately led to the global launch of the PARI eFlow® electronic nebuliser — a new inhaler that cuts patient treatment time by an amazing 50%. The drug delivery technology used in the PARI eFlow® electronic nebuliser enables liquid medication to be absorbed through the lungs with as much as 90% efficacy.

What makes the Pari eFlow® different?

  • Reduces treatment time by more than 50%.

  • Silent, discreet operation.

  • Battery-powered and easily portable.

  • Interchangeable spray heads allow easy cleaning.

  • More reliable and serviceable than traditional compressor-based systems.

  • Designed for use with all inhalation medications approved in Europe.

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You and TTP

Hopefully these case studies have shown you just a little of what a collaboration with TTP can achieve, from the creation of powerful and ground-breaking new products and solutions, through to their development and manufacture.

We believe it’s a uniquely visionary approach to Technology Development that can help our partners harness – and commercialise – the power of a great idea.

 

 

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