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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2012 Mar;13(1):211-7. doi: 10.1208/s12249-011-9743-6. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Microchip for sustained drug delivery by diffusion through microchannels.

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Interdisciplinary Program in Bioengineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea.


To enable sustained drug delivery, we prepared microchips of simple structure for drug release based on diffusion through microchannels. The microchips were fabricated with poly(methyl methacrylate), embedded with one or more microwells and microchannels of controlled length. The channels were filled with biocompatible polymer, poly(ethylene glycol), to serve as a drug diffusion barrier. The wells served as drug reservoirs and were filled with a fine powder of a model compound, fluorescein. Three different drug delivery microchip designs were prepared, each equipped with a channel of 1, 4, or 8 mm length. Drug release from these devices all exhibited a delay followed by sustained release over time. As the channel length increased from 1 to 8 mm, the onset time and duration of drug release also increased from 0.5 to 7 day and from 11 days to 28, respectively. We also prepared microchips equipped with multiple microwells, each connected to a channel of different length. In this way, a chip with channels of 1, 4, and 8 mm length exhibited a continuous drug release from 0.5 to 35 days. A future study is in progress to develop the microchips made of biodegradable materials. Therefore, we conclude that a microchip embedded with multiple sets of microwells and microchannels of different length can be designed to enable sustained drug release for controlled and prolonged periods of time.

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