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Nature. 1999 Jan 28;397(6717):335-8.

A controlled-release microchip.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Much previous work in methods of achieving complex drug-release patterns has focused on pulsatile release from polymeric materials in response to specific stimuli, such as electric or magnetic fields, exposure to ultrasound, light or enzymes, and changes in pH or temperature. An alternative method for achieving pulsatile release involves using microfabrication technology to develop active devices that incorporate micrometre-scale pumps, valves and flow channels to deliver liquid solutions. Here we report a solid-state silicon microchip that can provide controlled release of single or multiple chemical substances on demand. The release mechanism is based on the electrochemical dissolution of thin anode membranes covering microreservoirs filled with chemicals in solid, liquid or gel form. We have conducted proof-of-principle release studies with a prototype microchip using gold and saline solution as a model electrode material and release medium, and we have demonstrated controlled, pulsatile release of chemical substances with this device.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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