Nanomedicine researchers have developed a nanochannel delivery system (nDS) that provides long-term delivery of drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure, medications that are often administered at specific times of the day or at varying dosages based on patient needs.
Explaining the process, Alessandro Grattoni, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nanomedicine at Houston Methodist, said, “We see this universal drug implant as part of the future of health care innovation. Some chronic disease drugs have the greatest benefit of delivery during overnight hours when it’s inconvenient for patients to take oral medication. This device could vastly improve their disease management and prevent them from missing doses, simply with a medical professional overseeing their treatment remotely.”
The battery-powered implant contains a Bluetooth-enabled microchip that relies on wireless communication. Current drug delivery devices, such as pain or insulin implants, utilize pumping mechanisms or external ports and usually need to be refilled every few months. The new device is implanted under the skin and uses a nanofluidic membrane. Drug dosage and schedule can be customized to each patient, and the implant delivers the drugs for many months, even a year, before refills are needed.