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MIT develops thin-film 'micro pharmacy'
Date:2/11/2008

ices could be designed that can automatically deliver drugs after sensing that they're needed. For example, they could release chemotherapy agents if a tumor starts to regrow, or deliver insulin if a diabetic patient has high blood sugar.

You could eventually have a signaling system with biosensors coupled with the drug delivery component, said Daniel Schmidt, a graduate student in chemical engineering and one of the lead authors of the paper.

Other lead authors are recent MIT PhD recipients Kris Wood, now a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Nicole Zacharia, now a postdoctoral associate at the University of Toronto.

Because the films are built layer by layer, it is easy to control their composition. They can be coated onto a surface of any size or shape, which offers more design flexibility than other drug-delivery devices that have to be microfabricated.

The drawback to microfabricated devices is that it's hard to coat the drug over a large surface area or over an area that is not planar, said Wood.

Another advantage to the films is that they are easy to mass-produce using a variety of techniques, said Hammond. These thin-film systems can be directly applied or patterned onto 3D surfaces such as medical implants.


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Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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