Asee peer logo

Design Of A Transdermal Delivery System: A Case Study In Product Design And Multiscale Design

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Molecular and Multiscale Phenomena

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.382.1 - 9.382.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Richard Turton

author page

Joseph Shaeiwitz

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3413

Design of a Transdermal Delivery System: A Case Study in Product Design and Multi-scale Design Joseph A. Shaeiwitz, Richard Turton West Virginia University


The profession of chemical engineering is in the midst of a change. Biology is joining math, chemistry, and physics as an “enabling science.” Chemical engineers are more often required to design new products rather than new chemical processes. The past generation has seen enormous research advances in the enabling sciences in colloid-scale, nano-scale, molecular- scale, and atomic-scale technology.

In response to this expansion of the skills and knowledge required of the 21st century chemical engineer, it is necessary to adopt a new paradigm for chemical engineering education. For example, many programs are now requiring biology classes in addition to the traditional chemistry and physics classes. An increasing number of departments are changing their names to include some reference to biology (e.g., chemical and biochemical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering). Product design is either replacing part of or complementing process design in the capstone experience. There is a strong movement to alter the fundamental chemical engineering curriculum common to virtually every program to include the colloid-scale, nano- scale, molecular-scale, and atomic-scale technologies that are at the forefront of chemical engineering research.1 This curriculum would replace a significant portion of the macro-scale technology that has been taught in chemical engineering for most of its history as a profession with multi-scale technology, while retaining a sufficient amount of the traditional technology to permit teaching and learning of manufacturing. Traditional course titles may change, reflecting a rearrangement of topics based on length scales.1

In any new curriculum paradigm, there will still be a need for a capstone experience. In the new curriculum paradigm, the capstone experience may include design of a product at multiple scales, from the product at the atomic through the colloid scales, as appropriate, and the manufacture of the product at the macro scale. Therefore, a new class of design projects will be needed to replace the traditional continuous chemical manufacturing process that is most often the subject of the capstone design class. This paper describes one such design project assigned to the West Virginia University class of 2004.

The Problem

This class was assigned the task of investigating transdermal drug delivery systems. They were to identify potential pharmaceutical products for use in a transdermal patch and suggest opportunities for a profitable venture to manufacture such a product. They were to learn the components of transdermal patches, including their chemical composition, their function, and their mechanism of action, and their location in a manufactured patch. Finally, they were to

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Turton, R., & Shaeiwitz, J. (2004, June), Design Of A Transdermal Delivery System: A Case Study In Product Design And Multiscale Design Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13473

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015