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Targeted Drug Delivery with Fewer Side Effects

11/4/15     A remote control device may be implanted in the brain and with a push button could deliver drugs. This latest innovation was designed by experts at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is currently being tested on mice and was based on prior work where certain brain cells are activated using flashes of light.

The device is as thin as a human hair and is geared towards treating patients suffering from chronic pain, epilepsy, depression, and other neurological problems. Conventional medications have to interact with other parts of the body to get to their target area, this creates unwanted side effects. This new approach could deliver targeted therapies, which in turn would create no or fewer side effects.

“The device embeds microfluidic channels and microscale pumps, but is soft like brain tissue and can remain in the brain and function for a long time without causing inflammation or neural damage,” the study’s principal author, Dr. Jae-Woong Jeong, said.

The research is still in its preliminary stage but it is expected that it will have a significant impact in the field of drug delivery systems.