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Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method


Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method

Toronto : Researchers have developed a magnetic drug implant that could offer an alternative for patients struggling with numerous pills or intravenous injections.

The device, a silicone sponge with magnetic carbonyl iron particles wrapped in a round polymer layer, measures just six millimetres in diameter.

The drug is injected into the device and then surgically implanted in the area being treated.

Passing a magnet over the patient’s skin activates the device by deforming the sponge and triggering the release of the drug into surrounding tissue through a tiny opening.

“Drug implants can be safe and effective for treating many conditions, and magnetically controlled implants are particularly interesting because you can adjust the dose after implantation by using different magnet strengths. Many other implants lack that feature,” said Ali Shademani, a PhD student at University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.

Actively controlling drug delivery is particularly relevant for conditions like diabetes, where the required dose and timing of insulin varies from patient to patient, said John K Jackson, a research scientist in UBC’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences.

“This device lets you release the actual dose that the patient needs when they need it, and it is sufficiently easy to use that patients could administer their own medication one day without having to go to a hospital,” said Jackson.

The researchers tested their device on animal tissue in the lab using the prostate cancer drug docetaxel. They found that it was able to deliver the drug on demand even after repeated use.

The drug also produced an effect on cancer cells comparable to that of freshly administered docetaxel, proving that drugs stored in the device stay effective.

Mu Chiao, Shademani’s supervisor and a professor at UBC, said the team is working on refining the device and narrowing down the conditions for its use.

“This could one day be used for administering painkillers, hormones, chemotherapy drugs and other treatments for a wide range of health conditions. In the next few years we hope to be able to test it for long-term use and for viability in living models,” said Chiao.

The research was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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supriya kashyap

supriya kashyap

Supriya Kashyap Joined Medical Dialogue as Reporter in 2015 . she covers all the medical specialty news in different medical categories. She also covers the Medical guidelines, Medical Journals, rare medical surgeries as well as all the updates in medical filed. She is a graduate from Delhi University. She can be contacted at supriya.kashyap@medicaldialogues.in Contact no. 011-43720751
Source: PTI

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