11/3/14 “In orbit or on Earth, implantable device will be commanded to release therapeutic drugs remotely” is the title of a fascinating article written about research being done at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
They have created the nDS (nanochannel delivery system). It is an 18mm wide squat cylinder that contains a drug reservoir and a silicon membrane housing 615,342 channels as small as 2.5nm. These channels are sized and shaped to control drug releaseusing surface electrodes that “tune” the rate of drug delivery. Below the drug reservoir is a battery and electronics that can be activated to influence the rate at which drugs exit through a porous membrane. The electrodes are controlled via radio-frequency remote control.
This device will be tested aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and on Earth’s surface! We oftne blog about the micro industry being cutting edge technology, now it’s out of this world technology!.
“The nDS would enable telemedicine, reducing costs associated with hospitalization and travel for treatment, said Grattoni – principal investigator and Dept of Nanomedicine Intermin Co-Chair. “And in line with the CASIS mission, such technology could enhance other scientists’ studeis aboard the ISS. We also imagine other applications of the technology, such as military emergency care, pre-clinical studies of newly discovered drugs and care for astronauts on long space missions.”
There are currently 3 technologies available that allow patients to receive drug infusions without having to visit a hospital or clinic. These are wearable, external pumps and implantable multi-layered polymers that release drugs as they erode and implantable, metal-gated devices. Grattoni feels all 3 of these devices have limitations. Drug lined polymers may cause an initial burst of drug relsease, external pumps may carry the risk of infection and microchip-based devices have limited drug storage capacity.
The nDS is expected to allow doctors to have control over the rate of drug delivery, delivering drug bursts and periods of rest. This allows some regimens to work better and are better tolerated by the body. This nDS technology is ready to be fully validated in vitro and in vivo studies and then onto human trials.
This is leading revolutionary next generation research that is being conducted both on earth and out of this world! Todays micro technology is absolutely amazing!