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9/16/14   Controlled release drug delivery employs drug-encapsulating devices from which therapeutic agents may be released ranging from days to months. Such systems offer numerous advantages over traditional methods of drug delivery, including tailoring of drug release rates, protection of fragile drugs and increased patient comfort and compliance.

Polymeric micro features and devices are ideal vessels for controlled delivery applications due to their ability to encapsulate a variety of drugs, biocompatibility, and sustained drug release characteristics.

Research discussed in this article is focused on a new method developed at MIT for controlling the release rates of encapsulated drugs.

Micro Engineering Solutions micro fabrication techniques further advance systems for delivery of single or multiple-shot, vaccines, DPI, and transdermal drug delivery to name a few.

Why is all of this necessary? Chronic pain sufferers often face the choice of either enduring their pain or accepting the consequences of taking large volumes of drugs at once. Researchers at MIT have developed a technique that may lengthen the lifespan of targeted drug delivery systems for up to 14 months.

In a study published in Proceedings of the National Assembly of Sciences, MIT explains how their layered system of nano-scale films will enable the controlled release of medicines over a much longer period of time that previously possible. The benefits of this are:

  • It maintains relevant concentrations of medicines in an affected area
  • It minimizes exposure of vital organs to large doses of medicines
  • It decreases the number of implantations of the device to about once a year

In the article the researchers state “Drug release from implants and coatings provides a means for local administration while minimizing systemic toxicity. Controlled release can provide a slowly eluting drug reservoir to maintain elevated therapeutic levels. Devices based on degradable polymer matrices can control drug release for multiple weeks, but longer durations typically require bulky, non-degradable devices. Using a combination of a polymer–drug conjugate and its electrostatic thin film assembly, we discovered a predictable long-term sustained release of more than 14 months, far exceeding the duration noted in most previous reports, especially those from biodegradable matrices. Because of the substantial drug loading, nano-scale films were able to maintain significant concentrations that remained highly potent. We report a versatile, long-term drug delivery platform with broad biomedical implications.”