Delivery gel releases drugs in response to pressure

Delivery gel reacts to applied pressure.--Courtesy of NIMS

Researchers in Japan have developed a way to release drugs via a gel that reacts to compression. In practice, the gel would allow patients to administer drugs "on demand" by way of hand pressure.

Katsuhiko Ariga and a team of scientists at the National Institute for Materials Science used a component of algae, calcium alginate, and cyclodextrin, which they cross-linked to release an active ingredient when stress is applied.

When the patient applies physical pressure to the gel, its structure allows the immediate release of the drug, according to a study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B. The effects of the treatment lasted for up to three days.

In preclinical trials, the team used the anti-emetic drug ondansetron, but the team notes the gel has potential as a relief for cancer, hay fever and asthma. The convenient method of administration would allow patients themselves to be in charge of their own regimen.

- here's the abstract from NIMS