Like it or not, the use of marijuana in medical treatment is taking hold across the nation and for that matter, the world, and now an Israeli startup company has created a 3D printed, medical marijuana inhaler to serve that market.
Called the Syqe Inhaler, the devices are 3D printed using Stratasys industrial printers from a variety of materials.
Syqe Medical Ltd, which is somewhat surprisingly backed by Israeli government investment, has brought together a team of physicians, pharmacologists, mechanical and electrical engineers, chemists and biologists to "transform cannabis and other psychoactive botanicals into mainstream medical drugs."
The company has developed a pair of inhalers, the Syqe Inhaler aimed at home users and the Syqe Inhaler Exo for use in clinical settings.
The devices are considerably more sophisticated than the standard bong which has served Grateful Dead fans so well over the years. Wifi-enabled and capable of delivering exact doses of medical marijuana, the inhalers were designed to be operated via a smart phone or tablet.
The company calls their product a "Pocket-sized First-in-Class Metered Dose Cannabis Inhaler," and adds it's "the most advanced and versatile inhalation based drug delivery platform of its kind."
The company says the idea is to achieve "optimum balance between symptom relief and psychoactivity," which, we assume, might be thought of as a kind of regulated "buzz kill" aimed at making sure patients are only as stoned as their level of pain dictates.
Syqe says the entire system includes proprietary raw drug processing methods, preloaded cartridges and is linked to a clinical database for use by physicians, researchers and healthcare entities.
The CEO of Syqe Medical, Perry Davidson, says it's the remote control of dosages by physicians which is a groundbreaking addition to the use of medical marijuana.
"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," said Davison. "More than half of our production equipment, jigs, and analytical tools were printed in house. We used the family of Vero photopolymers, digital ABS, MED610, and PLA, and we printed the parts on Objet30 Pro, Connex3, Objet Eden260v, and Replicator 2 systems."
Davidson and his company is looking to raise up to $15 million in investor capital prior to the initial rollout of the inhalers at Israel hospitals. The Syqe Inhaler for home use will be available some time in 2015.
You can read the clinical study behind the development of the device here.