Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed an implantable device designed to release a drug when triggered by an external magnet. The amount of the drug that’s the implant ejects into the body can be controlled by using different strength magnets. Such technology may be of particular use in treating localized conditions to prevent the drug from spreading too easily through the rest of the body.
The device consists of a sponge made from silicone that has a coating made from magnetic carbonyl iron particles. A drug in liquid form is injected into the implant, which absorbs it and keeps it secure. After it’s implanted into the patient, a strong enough magnetic field can pull on the coating, squeezing the sponge within an releasing the drug. The dosage of the drug released during each treatment can be controlled by applying different magnets over the skin near the site of the implant.
The new device is yet to be tested on humans, but so far in animal tissues it demonstrated accurate repeated drug delivery and subsequent effectiveness of the medication. Specifically, the team tested docetaxel, a chemo agent, showing that it works just as well coming out of the new implant as when delivered fresh.
Here’s a short video showing the implant in action:
Study in journal Advanced Functional Materials: Active Regulation of On-Demand Drug Delivery by Magnetically Triggerable Microspouters…