With over 25 years of professional experience as a researcher, entrepreneur, product developer, and scientific director, Dr. A. Peshkovsky is helping businesses optimize their ultrasound-assisted processes and implement them in commercial-scale production.
Through his professional experience, he has mainly focused on instrumentation design and process development for the medical physics, pharmaceutical and cannabis industries.
Dr. Peshkovsky received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University.
As Co-founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Industrial Sonomechanics (ISM). He is responsible for defining the company’s strategic direction and overseeing the development of its technology and applications.
ISM is a research & development, device design, and process consultancy company specialized in high-performance ultrasonic liquid treatment technology.
They offer bench and commercial-scale ultrasonic liquid processors. Examples of applications include nanoemulsions, liposomes, nanocrystals, and wax nanoparticles for cannabis. As well as for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, ink, paint, coating, wood treatment, nanocomposite, pesticide, and fuel industries.
IMS also actively participates in plant oil extraction, liquid degassing, cell disruption, polymer and epoxy processing, and more.
Author of over 40 scientific papers, utility patents, conference presentations, and books. Dr. Peshkovsky entertained Candid Chronicle by answering a few questions about his work and the expertise he and his team provide to the cannabis industry.
Where are you based?
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
If you are part of an organization, how and why did you create it?
Our company was created in 2006 to develop and commercialize the Barbell Horn® – a device that makes it possible to build industrial-scale ultrasonic liquid processors that produce extremely high amplitudes required to achieve high-quality results, which was previously not possible. Prior to the invention of the Barbell Horn®, high-amplitude ultrasound was only used on the laboratory scale. Our invention allows companies to scale up any process that was previously only possible in the lab and use our ultrasonic equipment for commercial-scale production.
Since the company was formed in 2006, we have obtained a portfolio of U.S. and international patents: www.sonomechanics.com/intellectual-property
What sets you apart in the cannabis industry?
There are many companies in the water-compatible nanoemulsion space, however, ISM is truly unique. Our company combines its bona fides as an Original Equipment Manufacturer together with its status as an Original Formulation Developer.
On the equipment side, we offer a complete, turn-key solution to those looking to produce water-compatible nanoemulsions (aka. Water-soluble cannabis). Our technology is directly scalable, so our customers can produce a top-quality nanoemulsion on a large scale, not just in a small beaker. Our ultrasonic systems are “plug-and-play” and very easy to use, and our in-house capability to develop nanoemulsion formulations gives our customers the confidence that we can support them on the process side as well.
On the formulation side, we launched the NanoStabilizer® product family, which is used with our ultrasonic processors to produce high-quality translucent nanoemulsions of cannabis oils, distillates, and isolates as well as other hydrophobic bioactives, including essential oils, terpenes, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. These products come with detailed processing instructions (SOPs) and make it unnecessary for our customers to develop their own formulations and production protocols.
- Low aqueous solubility (cannabis extracts are not water-soluble, which creates challenges for manufacturers that try to mix them into beverages),
- Unpredictable onset and duration of effects,
- Low bioavailability and effect intensity,
- Inconsistent quality between batches.
What about the cannabis industry and community do you love?
Do you have any frustrations, hopes, fears as cannabis changes?
There is a gap in terms of the quality of information available to the industry as a whole, and more research is needed to validate product claims so the market can advance. We are confident that as consumers get more educated, consistently high-quality water-soluble nanoemulsions with small droplet sizes will be in increasingly high demand.
What were some of your challenges getting started in cannabis?
There is no guidebook for getting started in the cannabis industry, so we relied on what we know best – formulation development and equipment design. Due to our background in the pharmaceutical industry, we were able to gain credibility in the cannabis space rather quickly. The industry and existing technologies, however, initially had very little analytics and studies that professionals could rely on, which created substantial confusion in the marketplace. Although the situation has since improved, much of this confusion still remains and is perhaps the biggest challenge as we focus on proving out processes, approaches, and techniques associated with creating highly bioavailable “water-soluble” cannabinoids. This is further complicated by the very limited available peer-reviewed research on cannabis extract nanoemulsions and the associated benefits.
To overcome these challenges, we listened to our customers and were able to design turn-key solutions for those who are looking to make beverages and edibles infused with fast-acting cannabis extracts. We provide those solutions not only to experienced scientists but also to professionals who have little or no scientific or engineering background. The NanoStabilizer® product family used in conjunction with our ultrasonic equipment allows our customers to instead focus on other important aspects of product development and innovation, such as taste, consumer experience, and branding.
Our research in the cannabis space also led us to publish our own cannabis-related peer-reviewed scientific paper in the Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology. This paper is available for download at: www.sonomechanics.com/peer-reviewed-publications.
Where would you like to see yourself in the cannabis industry three years from now?
We see several emerging trends in the cannabis industry and believe that ISM will play a major role in those trends in the next three years.
First, we see an increased emphasis on quality control of cannabinoid-infused finished products. ISM will be at the forefront of creating high-quality products and is developing quality measures that finished products will be held against.
Second, we see a gradual opening of world markets – Colombia, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, and Thailand, just to name a few. The desire of companies around the world to engage in high-quality manufacturing of finished products will position ISM as a leader in this space.
Lastly, the ability to apply scientific methodologies to solving problems and optimizing opportunities will lead the day in the future of this industry. ISM is uniquely positioned to leverage this trend as it applies scientific rigor to an industry that many still think of as the “Wild West”.
What does the future of cannabis look like to you?
How do you plan to make a positive difference in the cannabis industry?
In my opinion, the most important aspect of nanoemulsion-based product development revolves around droplet sizes. Minimizing the droplet size directly benefits all the important aspects of nanoemulsions, including translucency, bioavailability, and the onset of action. Many products on the market, however, contain nanoemulsions with large droplets (most larger than 200 nm, some even larger than 1000 nm), resulting in suboptimal performance.
We will continue providing our Barbell Horn® Ultrasonic Technology-based processors and NanoStabilizer® formulations to enable our clients to easily produce optimized water-compatible nanoemulsions in liquid and powdered form with extremely small droplet sizes (25 – 50 nm).
What makes you proud or gratified to be a part of the “legal” cannabis industry?
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself or your business?
ISM has recently started offering nanoemulsion (both liquid and powdered) contract manufacturing services. Those companies who wish to produce beverages or tablets infused with CBD, essential oils and/or other bioactive ingredients, but do not want to get involved in the nanoemulsion manufacturing process can take advantage of this new service we offer. With our large-scale technology, we are able to offer competitive pricing and quick turn-around times.
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