It is no secret that the human population is growing older and living longer. Some scientists believe that a person born today will live to 150 years old! On the surface that appears to be unrealistic, however it is placed into perspective by the fact that the oldest person who ever lived was a lady called Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) of France, who lived to the age of 122 years and 164 days!
If that was achievable with a person born in the 19th century, it feels entirely plausible that someone born in the 21st century would surpass that age given our better understanding of health, diets and the advances in medication.
Medication is becoming an important part of all of our lifes. We are becoming increasingly more dependant on medication for example, to help thin blood, regulate temperature, provide essential vitamins or fight diseases.
Whilst there are numerous ways to take medication, tablets are the most popular. Tablets typically contain three main elements; the medicament, the excipient and the coating.
The medicament element comprises a mixture of active substances that essentially either helps to make you better or deliver the desired benefit of the tablet. The actual content of the active substance is very small with respect to the rest of the tablet, typically only a few percent of the overall tablet weight.
The excipient element typically includes diluents, binders or granulating agents, glidants (flow aids) and lubricants to ensure efficient tabletting. This includes disintegrants to promote tablet break-up in the digestive tract, sweeteners or flavours to enhance taste and pigments to make the tablets visually attractive or aid in visual identification of an unknown tablet. The excipient essentially bulks up the tablets solid formulation and is thus often referred to as a "bulking agent", "filler", or "diluent". The excipient therefore forms the vast majority of the tablet weight making it easier to handle.
Finally a polymer type coating is typically applied on the outer surface of the tablet to make the tablet smoother and easier to swallow. The coating can also help to control the release rate of the active ingredient and also make the tablet more resistant to the environment (extending its shelf life).
With these three elements, it should be of no surprise that tablet manufacturing is strictly regulated to ensure consistent dosage. Environmental conditions must be exact and highly controlled as the tablet is formulated, pressed and coated. Barrier Isolators are an essential element to ensure such manufacturing control.
The Standard Group of Companies design and manufactures a wide range of advanced barrier isolators for all stages of tablet manufacture. Therefore, in our own small way, we are helping to extend human life expectancy and push towards that somewhat magical age target of 150 years old.
For further information on Standard Group's barrier isolators, please see