Drug-Delivery Microchip

YOKI

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[h=2]Drug-Delivery Microchip Could Replace Daily Injections[/h]An experimental, implanted drug-delivery microchip that releases medication on command from an external wireless control could one day free patients from daily injections and improve treatment compliance.


In a Small Study, Patients Preferred Microchip Over Daily Injections, and Most Had No Unwanted Side Effects

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Results from the first human study of the programmable microchip were reported Thursday in Vancouver at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science -- 15 years after researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) first came up with the idea for the device.
If future research is promising, the technology could be used to treat a wide range of conditions that require frequent or daily injections, says Robert Farra, the study's author and chief operating officer of the company developing the drug-delivery device, MicroCHIPS Inc.

This is the first successful human study of an implantable, wireless microchip that provides 100% treatment compliance and frees patients from the burden of managing their disease on a daily basis,
 

YOKI

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University of California, San Diego professor of bioengineering John T. Watson, PhD, calls the 20-dose trial an important first step in showing that a programmable drug-delivery microchip is possible.
But he tells WebMD that many years and hurdles remain before the technology reaches the clinic.
In an editorial published with the study today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, Watson writes that although the road may be long and winding, "a versatile, implantable device that exploits the microchip approach for controlled drug delivery will be worth the wait for patients with chronic diseases."
The study was funded and overseen by MicroCHIPS Inc.

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YOKI

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[h=1]MEMS for intelligent drug delivery[/h]
The process of drug delivery still remains an important challenge in drug therapy. An ideal drug delivery system should deliver a drug at the right amount, right place and right time dictated by the needs of the body

MEMS
MEMS are tiny mechanical devices that are built onto semiconductor chips and are generally in micrometres size scales. At nanometres sizes, they are called NEMS. MEMS/ NEMS are the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators and electrical components on common silicon substrate. Other materials such as polymers and ceramics have been used recently, especially in drug delivery devices because of their desirable properties (biocompatibility and biodegradability).
 

YOKI

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MEMS delivery devices promise to usher in an era of miniaturization. MEMS delivery devices have a number of advantages. They are:
■ Miniaturization of a device is ideal for implant and need less than a microlitre of a drug for analysis and operation.
■ Simplicity of release mechanism

Convenient and accurate for dosing
■ Faster drug delivery with fewer side effects
■ Potential for local delivery
■ Stability enhancement
■ Ability to store and release multiple drugs on demand
 

YOKI

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Two important microfabricated systems

Implantable microchip:

It is a typical MEMS microchip and is based on multiple micro reservoirs into a substrate (usually silicon) that contain individual doses of drugs either in a solid, liquid or gel form. Each reservoir is capped with conductive membrane (e.g. gold) and is controlled by a microprocessor. Each dose is released by the electrochemical dissolution of the gold membrane. A microchip, as small as 2 mm by 2 mm, can accommodate over 1000 reservoirs. The first development of a microchip with application in drug delivery by researchers at the MIT, US, was reported in Nature (Santini et al., Nature, 397, 335-38, 1999). In 2006, the same researchers demonstrated for the first time used an implant of postage stamp-sized microchips containing 100 tiny reservoirs of medicine and wireless technology, to actively control the release of drugs at different intervals and amounts in dogs for up to six months. This device is currently being developed by MicroCHIPS Inc. Current developments on microchip systems consists of designing biodegradable polymeric microchip device, which once implanted for drug delivery applications need not be removed.


Microneedles:

Conventional transdermal delivery is severely hindered by the inability of most drugs to enter the skin at therapeutically useful concentrations because of impermeability of the barrier dead tissue called stratum corneum. Microneedles are long enough to penetrate across the stratum corneum, but short enough not to stimulate the nerves in the deeper tissue. Hence, microneedles has the potential to dramatically increase transdermal delivery of many drugs, especially for macromolecules. By adapting microfabrication technology, small arrays of solid and hollow silicon microneedles can be made. These arrays are usually 150 microns long, tapering from a base of 80 microns to a point less than 1 micron. The ALZA Corp. has commercialized a microneedle - TD patch - (Macroflux) that uses a thin titanium screen that consists of 200 microns microneedles. Additionally, microneedles are capable of painless delivery of drugs into cells and tissues.
 

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