For conditions requiring long-term treatment in a targeted area of the body drug releasing implants can be of great benefit.
Researchers at Purdue University have come up with a new way of releasing drugs into the body in a controlled manner using tiny injectible nanowire implants.
The existing devices on the market tend to be bulky and involve electronics, mechanical valves, and other components that create their own drawbacks.
The new devices are made of polypyrrole, an organic electrically conductive polylmer. A small carpet made of these wires was grown over a gold base and loaded with dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.
Applying an electromagnetic field over the wires caused them to release the drug. Turning off the EM field immediately stopped the drug release process.
The technology was tested on mice with compression injuries, demonstrating that the drug reduced inflammation in the areas where the EM field was applied. This worked over a period of weeks, pointing to this approach being applicable in long-term clinical applications.