Programmable Microfluidic Pump with Skin Penetration Enhancement for Drug Delivery
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AbstractSoldiers in the field often perform difficult tasks under stressful situations for days at a time. Properly administered, pharmaceutical agents play a critical role helping soldiers operate at peak levels in these situations. Unfortunately, oral ingestion may result in unwanted drug peaks and valleys or gastrointestinal drug degeneration, while standard transdermal application is slow and limited to low-molecular-weight drugs. Los Gatos Research has developed a solution: a unique, lightweight microfluidic pump with no moving parts. Integrated inside a transdermal patch with a microprocessor and 3-Volt battery, it can provide days of continuous, programmable drug delivery. With skin penetration enhancers that increase skin permeability for medicines by orders of magnitude, the patch controllably and quickly delivers drugs transdermally. In Phase I, we demonstrated technical feasibility, creating this novel programmable drug delivery vehicle and demonstrating the ability to quickly deliver dextroamphetamine transdermally. Phase II will involve the development of smaller prototypes and more advanced electronic controls. Prototypes will be tested for reliability, programmability, response speed, and effectiveness for real-world conditions. Moreover, the pharmaceutical solutions will be refined to increase drug delivery rates even further. Prototypes will be delivered to the Air Force and, contingent on their approval, used in initial clinical trials.
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