Portability makes electrical stimulation the control method of choice for pulsatile drug delivery, say South Korean researchers. They've been working on just such a delivery mechanism, which holds promise for use in new therapeutic methods being devised for hormone-related conditions, including infertility, dwarfism and diabetes.
A device built by Jin Kon Kim and his team at Pohang University of Science Technology uses a nanoporous membrane made of electrically responsive polymers to provide both pulsed and on-demand drug release, reports Nanowerks.
Electrochemical state changes control the nanopore openings. At the reduction state, pores close due to expansion of the polymer, trapping the drug inside. The pores open during the oxidation state, releasing the drug. Each state is reversible more than 1000 times. Switching time is less than 10 seconds.
The implantable unit improves over previous electrical pulsation delivery devices, according to Kim. Earlier devices had drug-reservoir and switch limitations as well as quantity-release control problems. And the new device requires a driving potential of just 1.1 volts, practically one-third of that used to run an artificial heart.
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