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With OpenSciences, our aim is to understand the mechanisms acting in the vaporisation process whether physical, chemical or biological. Particularly focussed on phenomena linked to the inhalation and vaporisation of active ingredients, our research team's work is directed especially to the study of vaping products.
Through our scientific articles and publications, we are studying numerous subjects to provide precise answers to the questions of users and the general public, and of the scientific community interested in the subject. Today our work has international scope through our presence in the standards committees at AFNOR (France), CEN (Europe) and ISO (International).
The e-cigarette is a breakthrough innovation that is continually changing. In a few years, the equipment has changed significantly. Sub ohm resistances have appeared and batteries deliver more and more power. To measure the efficiency, safety or the repeatability of the various tools, many parameters have to be considered: resistance value, power, wick type, airflow control, etc.
The goal of our laboratory’s Physics section is to provide precise information about the role of these various factors: how do the physical parameters influence vaporisation? How does the nature or geometry of the resistances affect it? Should the airflow be adapted to the power/resistance couple? Is there any risk related to the use of high power or on the contrary, does it increase the efficiency of the device? Is there a ratio between device efficiency and risk?
Providing answers to these questions, and to many others, constitutes the daily work of the R&D team through the publication and analysis of existing scientific studies and the performance of experiments and tests. To accomplish this, we have specially designed the U-SAV, the first robot vaper capable of generating emissions and reproducing user and equipment behaviour. It also enables the use of an internal energy source avoiding the limits linked to using commercial batteries. To undertake this research, we are also developing many scientific and institutional partnerships in France and abroad, such as with the University of Bordeaux, Laboratory I2M or CNRS.
The e-liquids used in electronic cigarettes are mostly composed of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), flavours and possibly nicotine. Studied for many years, PG and VG are two molecules well-known to manufacturers and pharmaceutical laboratories. Their behaviour with vaporisation has also been especially observed.
However, the many aromatic elements used in e-liquids are more complex to analyse. A single e-liquid can contain around a hundred different molecules. They are extremely difficult to study because of their variety, multiple possible reactions when heated and their potential interactions.
So chemical analysis in vaping starts with significant analytical and bibliographic work on the liquid and its components. This is even before doing experiments where the e-liquid is sometimes heated in extreme conditions to measure the concentration of the degradation elements.
These tests also make it possible to isolate the molecules and observe their behaviour at the moment of vaporisation. A “simplified” liquid is first studied and then complexed by adding additional elements in order to study their potential interactions.
Among the research in process on this topic, OpenSciences is carrying out studies on particle sizes and on the effect of sucralose in e-liquids.
Our biology section seeks to study the biological impact of personal vaporisers and the influence of the chemical composition of e-liquids on the human body. To understand these effects, it is essential to be able to closely match the user experience in particular by generating a controlled vapour and by using cells that faithfully reproduce human lung tissue. However, more and more scientific studies are published without measuring the biological aspect of vaping overall. Only a systematic approach allows the safety and complexity of vaping to be properly understood: equipment, liquid composition, vaper behaviour, toxicological impact of emissions, etc.
The VapEcell programme, initiated by ingésciences, should supply objective data on the consequences of vaping on human cells and the actual impact of this exposure on users. For this purpose, our team is using the U-SAV robot vaper in order to expose healthy cell tissues to vapour generated in a controlled way. In order to guard its neutrality, this project is supervised by an ethics committee composed of a wide range of interveners (pulmonologist, toxicologist, vaping specialist, etc.). At the same time, an active bibliographical watch is being followed in order to stay informed about the latest scientific publications on these subjects. Using this approach, OpenSciences is seeking to obtain reliable health data without resorting to animal experimentation.
Our laboratory benefits from much support especially in France. Located near Bordeaux, we have received the UB Friendly label from the University of Bordeaux, which values our involvement and our attachment to the Bordeaux institution.
Do you want to know more about our research?
Consult our scientific publications