Untethered Actuators for Controlled Release of Drugs

Case ID:
Disclosure Date:

C12387: Mechanical-Chemical Controlled-Release Microtools for Targeted Drug Delivery


Novel mechanical-chemical drug-loaded micro-devices capable of anchoring to diseased tissue followed by sustained drug release.

Value Proposition:

There is an unmet need for improved drug delivery systems enabling the non-invasive, patient-accepted administration of therapeutics for gastrointestinal disorders. Recent progress in matrix materials has led to the development of proficient time-release technologies allowing the prolonged drug release over several days; yet, the current limitation is a targeted delivery system that would be anchored to the diseased site. Hence, inventors created a novel hybrid mechanical-chemical drug delivery system comprised of a small wireless drug-loaded device that in response to biological cues grabs the diseased site, permitting targeted extended-release drug delivery. Advantages include:

- Increased therapy efficacy with low drug toxicity due to temporally and spatially controlled drug release
- Biocompatible micro-devices respond wirelessly to biological cues and specifically anchor to the diseased site
- Non-invasive sampling of tissue for disease diagnostics and therapeutic monitoring

Technical Details:

Johns Hopkins researchers have engineered a novel hybrid mechanical-chemical untethered microtool that by gripping the diseased tissue facilitates an improved sustained-release targeted drug delivery. Developing methods for the targeted delivery and sustained release of therapeutic compounds at a diseased site is of great interest as it provides the possibility to lower the overall drug use and thereby potential toxic side effects. Therefore, this technology describes the use of untethered actuators for a temporally and spatially controlled drug release. Small, sub-millimetric, wireless devices are provided carrying one or more liquid or solid drugs embedded in a biocompatible, biodegradable matrix, allowing the well-defined controlled release of (combination) therapeutics using different leaching techniques. Targeted drug delivery is ensured by an actuator-mediated mechanical anchoring of the device to the diseased site. Further, device removal can retrieve tissue for diagnostic tests. Together, this technology presents an excellent new tool for the targeted, non-invasive, sustained drug delivery and diagnostic of gastrointestinal disorders.

Looking for Partners:

To develop and commercialize the technology as an improved targeted extended-release drug delivery system.

Stage of Development:


Data Availability:

Under CDA / NDA

Publications/Associated Cases:

Not available at this time

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Self-Actuating Chemomechanical Devices for Delivery and Extended Release of Therapeutic Agents in the Gastrointestinal Tract ORD: Ordinary Utility United States 14/195,446 10,441,760 3/3/2014 10/15/2019 3/1/2034 Granted
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For Information, Contact:
Lisa Schwier
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