Wearable drug delivery device provides personalized medicine

August 14, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) have devised a flexible and wearable drug delivery device enabling controlled drug release for customized medicine based on the wearer's physiological data.


The flexible drug delivery device for controlled
release attached on a glass rod.

Theragnosis, the collection of accurate physiological metrics to simultaneously diagnose a health condition and then offer the most accurate treatment and personalized doses of medicines is an emerging medical technology. Theragnosis devices including smart contact lenses and microneedle patches which integrate physiological data sensors and drug delivery devices.

For this microdevice, Professor Daesoo Kim from the Department of Biological Science and Professor Keon Jae Lee from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering lead a team to fabricate a device on a rigid substrate and transferred a 50 µm-thick active drug delivery layer to the flexible substrate via inorganic laser lift off.


Schematic view of the flexible drug delivery micro-
device, fabricated via inorganic laser lift off.

While remaining mechanically flexible, the device retains its capability to precisely administer exact dosages at desired times. The core technology consists in producing a freestanding gold capping layer directly on top of drug-filled microreservoirs.

 

The new flexible drug delivery system could be applied to smart contact lenses or brain disease treatments as it can be implanted and can conform to cramped and corrugated organs. If powered wirelessly, it could offer a novel platform for personalized medicine, the researchers anticipate.

Through animal experimentation, the team demonstrated the device could improve brain epilepsy treatments by precisely and timely releasing anti-epileptic medication.

The study was described in a paper titled “Flexible Wireless Powered Drug Delivery System for Targeted Administration on Cerebral Cortex” published in the June online issue of Nano Energy.

KAIST - www.kaist.edu

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