Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
ADME Tox
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Body Heat, Fermentation Drive New Drug-Delivery 'Micropump'

Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have created a new type of miniature pump activated by body heat that could be used in drug-delivery patches powered by fermentation.

The micropump contains Baker's yeast and sugar in a small chamber. When water is added and the patch is placed on the skin, the body heat and the added water causes the yeast and sugar to ferment, generating a small amount of carbon dioxide gas. The gas pushes against a membrane and has been shown to continually pump for several hours, said Babak Ziaie, a Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering.

Such miniature pumps could make possible drug-delivery patches that use arrays of "microneedles" to deliver a wider range of medications than now possible with conventional patches. Unlike many other micropumps under development or in commercial use, the new technology requires no batteries, said Ziaie, who is working with doctoral student Manuel Ochoa.

"This just needs yeast, sugar, water and your own body heat," Ziaie said.

The robustness of yeast allows for long shelf life, and the design is ideal for mass production, Ochoa said.

"It would be easy to fabricate because it's just a few layers of polymers sandwiched together and bonded," he said.

Findings were detailed in a research paper published online in August in the journal Lab on a Chip. The paper was written by Ochoa and Ziaie, and the research is based at Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center in the university's Discovery Park.

The "the microorganism-powered thermopneumatic pump" is made out of layers of a rubberlike polymer, called polydimethylsiloxane, which is used commercially for diaphragms in pumps. The prototype is 1.5 centimeters long.

Current "transdermal" patches are limited to delivering drugs that, like nicotine, are made of small hydrophobic molecules that can be absorbed through the skin, Ziaie said.

"Many drugs, including those for treating cancer and autoimmune disorders cannot be delivered with patches because they are large molecules that won't go through the skin," he said. "Although transdermal drug delivery via microneedle arrays has long been identified as a viable and promising method for delivering large hydrophilic molecules across the skin, a suitable pump has been hard to develop."

Patches that used arrays of tiny microneedles could deliver a multitude of drugs, and the needles do not cause pain because they barely penetrate the skin, Ziaie said. The patches require a pump to push the drugs through the narrow needles, which have a diameter of about 20 microns, or roughly one-fourth as wide as a human hair.

Most pumps proposed for drug-delivery applications rely on an on-board power source, which is bulky, costly and requires complex power-management circuits to conserve battery life.

"Our approach is much more simple," Ziaie said. "It could be a disposable transdermal pump. You just inject water into the patch and place it on your skin. After it's used up, you would throw it away."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

System 'Prints' Precise, Tailored Drug Dosages
The new approach uses a combination of data and mathematics to determine the precise dosage.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Purdue, Houston Methodist to Take Drug Discoveries from the Bench Top to the Bedside
The planned collaboration on research and educational initiatives includes clinical trials of drugs developed at Purdue.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Purdue Researcher Invents Molecule that Stops SARS
A Purdue University researcher has created a compound that prevents replication of the virus that causes SARS and could lead to a treatment for the disease.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Scientific News
How Cancer Spreads in the Body
Cancer cells appear to depend on an unusual survival mechanism to spread around the body, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Rates of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Disorder Double in 10 Years
Researchers at NIH have found that the nonmedical use of prescription opioids has more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013.
Self-Assembling Protein Shell for Drug Delivery
Made-to-order nano-cages open possibilities of shipping cargo into living cells or fashioning small chemical reactors.
Guided Chemotherapy Missiles
Latching chemotherapy drugs onto proteins that seek out tumors could provide a new way of treating tumors in the brain or with limited blood supply that are hard to reach with traditional chemotherapy.
What Makes a Good Scientist?
It’s the journey, not just the destination that counts as a scientist when conducting research.
‘Human-on-a-Chip’ Could Replace Animal Testing
Researchers are developing a “human-on-a-chip,” a miniature external replication of the human body, integrating biology and engineering with a combination of microfluidics and multi-electrode arrays.
A New Approach to Chemical Synthesis
Communesins, originally found in fungus, could hold potential as cancer drugs.
‘Missing Tooth’ Hydrogels Handle Hard-to-Deliver Drugs
Rice University’s custom hydrogel traps water-avoiding molecules for slow delivery.
Copper is Key in Burning Fat
Berkeley Lab scientist says results could provide new target for obesity research.
Better Animal Model to Improve HIV Vaccine Development
Penn study identifies a new tool to produce better HIV vaccine designs.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!