The Need: The release of drugs from implants for a sustained period of time offers substantial advantages for the treatment of many pathologies. The potential advantages include improve therapeutic efficacy, the reduction of undesired side effects, patient convenience, patient compliance, and treatment cost reductions. While several problems in sustained, long-term release of drugs have been solved, leading to successful commercial clinical products, suitable release systems for many biotechnological drugs have not been developed yet. Thus, ample opportunities exist for entering the drug delivery marketplace. Furthermore, no implant has been developed or commercialized yet, that has the ability to do more than simply releasing a drug at a constant rate. Additional medically desirable features of such an implant would include the ability to control the release rate by preprogramming, activation from remote controls, and self-regulated release in response to varying conditions in the body, at the implant location.
Our Approach: We have developed and validated multiple generations of controlled-release implants, based on our proprietary nano-channel technology. In brief: We employ our proprietary methods to make silicon-based chips that present with a multitude of nano-scale channels. Tailoring the channel size and chemistry to the molecules of interest it is possible to attain the desired constant release profiles, for period of several months, even for biotechnological drugs. Furthermore, we have shown that applying a very small electrical field across the channel gives the ability to actively control the release rates. This offers the opportunity to develop smart pre-programmed, remotely activated, and self-regulated delivery implants.