From the age old techniques of drug delivery by oral, nasal, dermal administration and injections it has developed to delivery using nanoparticles, gels and scaffolds to more precisely control the release and local bioavailability of drug.
Researchers from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland have developed a new system for on-demand delivery of drugs to mimic the spatial and temporal precision of biological processes.
The paper, published recently in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials, describes the fabrication and characterization of a hydrogel made of seaweed-derived alginate that contains gold nanoparticles for the delivery of BMP-2, a clinically used drug known to enhance fracture healing when introduced in a controlled manner.
The gold nanoparticles are entrapped in the hydrogel and are not released unless triggered by ultrasound, upon which there is an increase of 200 fold in particle and drug release after 24 hours, which goes up to 5000 fold after 5 days.
The authors plan to carry out an in vivo study to test the efficacy of the system and its safety profile as all the materials used in the system are already clinically available.