Nanosphere foam delivers drugs to the bladder

The delivery system is based on drug-loaded polymer nanospheres embedded in a foamy absorbable matrix.--Courtesy of IKV

Researchers at the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany are developing a controlled-release foam that can deliver drugs to treat diseases such as overactive bladder. The project is in collaboration with German companies Dr. Pfleger and Hemoteq, and with the University Hospital Aachen.

Overactive bladder is an embarrassing condition, where the urge to "go" can almost be insurmountable and lead to incontinence. It can happen with dementia, or after a stroke, or simply just as a part of aging. While it's not life-threatening, it can stop people from going out, leading to isolation and depression, and affect work and leisure commitments.

The delivery system is based on drug-loaded polymer nanospheres embedded in a foamy absorbable matrix, and includes lactic and glycolic acids, which are often made from sugar beets. The delivery depot would sit inside the bladder gradually delivering the drug exactly where it is needed, cutting systemic exposure to the drug and reducing the need for invasive and unpleasant treatments like catheterization.

The same polymer also has potential for absorbable drug delivery implants used elsewhere in the body or as a coating for a drug-eluting stent.

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