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article imageFlexible wearable for smart drug delivery

By Tim Sandle     Aug 26, 2018 in Health
A new flexible wearable, from South Korea, has been designed to allow for customize drug delivery upon diagnosis and to improve patient health.
Technologists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a flexible and wearable drug delivery device. The device allows for controlled drug release for customized medicines. The release of the drug is linked to the patient’s physiological data.
The variation of the dose of a medicine is part of the personalized medicine (or precision medicine) paradigm. This represents a shift away from generic medicines where all patients with the same condition are given the same type of medicine at the same dose and towards an acceptance that patients differ and, for some conditions, patients will require different medicines or medicines delivered at different times and of different doses. Advances with the human microbiome, for example, have shown how the human gut bacteria influence how certain medicines might work differently with different patients.
The approach is termed theragnosis. This refers to the collection of accurate physiological metrics to diagnose a health condition and to provide the most accurate treatment, which links up with the personalized medicine approach. This is leading to theragnosis devices as an emerging field of medical technology. Included here are smart contact lenses and microneedle patches linking together physiological data sensors and drug delivery devices.
The new microdevice was developed by Professor Daesoo Kim and Professor Keon Jae Lee. The researchers fabricated a device built upon a rigid substrate and transferred a 50 micrometer pore sized drug delivery layer onto the flexible substrate. This was achieved using a technique called inorganic laser lift off.
The device is mechanically flexible (making it wearable) and it retains the capability to administer exact dosages of a drug substance at required times, with the time set by the patient’s physiological or biochemical need. The medicinal product is filled into microreservoirs.
This type of technology has the versatility to be applied to smart contact lenses or for areas like brain disease treatment, since it can be implanted and it is especially suited to being fitted into corrugated organs.
Furthermore, the device can be powered wirelessly. To date the research has been with animal models, where it was shown that the device can improve upon brain epilepsy treatments by the controlled release of an anti-epileptic medication.
The research is published in the journal Nano Energy, with the paper titled: “Flexible Wireless Powered Drug Delivery System for Targeted Administration on Cerebral Cortex”.
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