Nano Science and Technology Institute

A Hybrid Microfluidic Device for Active Control of Drug Delivery

We have established an integrated system combining a microneedle device, a drug reservoir and an electro-osmotic micropump using low-cost manufacturing technologies. This device will provide pain-free delivery of therapeutic agents in a controlled, sustained release manner with no associated complications.

Organization: McMaster University, Canada
Industry: Health/Medical, Drug delivery
Inventors: G. Mahadevan, H. Sheardown and R. Selvaganapathy
Technology Contact: G. Crossley, McMaster Industry Liaison Office, Canada

IP Overview Courtesy of D. Morrison, McMaster University, Canada

Drug delivery in a safe, precise, actively controlled and pain-free manner is vital for the next generation of biologically based drugs. Current delivery methods, including injections and implantable biodegradable polymers, are non-uniform, passive or painful to the patient. In the specific case of managing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the current clinical treatment is monthly therapeutic injections to the back of the eye. This is a painful and risk prone process in need of revision.

Our solution is an integrated microdevice consisting of two parts: a microneedle array flexible and small enough to eliminate patient discomfort by not stimulating nerve endings and an actively controlled micropump that uses electro-osmosis to provide uniform and controlled delivery over a long period of time. Furthermore, the microneedles in our array are produced using novel, low-cost etching techniques and our electro-osmotic pump is formed using materials that are easily expandable to large-scale non-clean room based manufacturing.

We also feel that this approach could be easily adapted to suit a variety of other delivery applications. As such, this technology lends itself to companies looking for novel methods of delivering therapeutics in a controllable, pain-free manner with devices created through low-cost manufacturing techniques.

We are looking for partners in industry with keen interests in drug delivery technologies to help fund in vitro optimization and in vivo testing of our technology.

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