A research collaboration between scientists in Singapore, Russia, and the UK has developed a way of building tiny microchambers that can release drugs when activated by light.
The microchambers are packaged together into implantable arrays that, when illuminated by near-infrared light, will open up and let whatever is inside flow out. They’re made from a mix of polymers and graphene oxide using two techniques called nanoimprint lithography and layer-by-layer assembly, both perfected at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.
The wavelength of light that is used to open up the chamber is safe enough for therapeutic purposes, not heating up or damaging the tissue on the way to the implant.
“This near-infrared light is the perfect way to trigger drug release as it has the maximum penetration into biological tissues,” said Maxim Kiryukhin from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering.
This work is still in progress and there’s a long way to go before it reaches the clinical stage, but the principle is exciting and may allow for long-term timely delivery of various drugs for many diseases.
Study in Macromolecular Rapid Communications: Polyelectrolyte–Graphene Oxide Multilayer Composites for Array of Microchambers which are Mechanically Robust and Responsive to NIR Light…