New drug delivery device under development


Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), Draper Laboratory is a not-for-profit research and development laboratory focused on the design, development, and deployment of advanced technological solutions.

In collaboration with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), researchers at the laboratory are working on delivering precise amounts of one or more drugs, in an automated, timed sequence, directly into the fluid of the inner ear. Their system is different to other approaches that generally aim to deliver drugs to the middle ear and tend to rely on indirect transport through tissue to reach the inner ear. Through their innovative approach, the team hopes to eliminate issues such as patient compliance, systemic adverse effects, and frequent consultations for follow-up.

The system incorporates a planar micropump and provides pumping to and from the cochlea as well as a circuit-type drug reservoir, making it possible to administer variable doses. “This is a major step toward the future miniaturization that will be required for an implant for humans, because it shows the approach we will use as we go forward and has the potential for further size reduction,” explains Jeff Borenstein, principal investigator on the project at Draper.

In vivo preclinical testing has been conducted using a drug that temporarily blocks hearing to evaluate the device’s safety and efficacy.

Source: Digital Journal