Injecting Drugs in Less Invasive Way with Silicon Nanoneedle
By MedTech Outlook | Monday, February 11, 2019
The study of biological functions and mechanisms enables the ability to introduce vertically ordered silicon nanoneedles into the cell membrane of an individual. Silicon nanoneedles arrange the cell membrane and inject the drugs directly into the body. It includes different aspects including nanoneedle fabrication, drug loading, cell interfacing, and drug delivery. Recently, the nanotechnology and fluorocarbons have been prevalently used for product coating. Nasiol uses nanotechnology instead of fluorocarbons. Some manufacturers have been using fluorocarbons domestically as water repellents.
Vertically-ordered silicon nanoneedles have nanoscale dimension and low cytotoxicity, which helps in invasive nano injection in the living biological system. Production of Si NNs on a bulk Si wafer using nanofabrication technology has been mismatched with the interface between the flat and opaque Si wafer and the biological system. These opaque silicon patches can be used as a temporary drug delivery system. It cannot be left in the body for prolonged hours.
In order to have a permanent drug delivery system, Chi Hwan Lee, an assistant professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering and Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, has created a unique methodology. It has been implemented by using a thin layer of elastomer patch to interface with the biological systems with high flexibility. The collaborators from South Korea’s Hanyang University joined hands with the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Korean Ministry of science to complete the study of new methodology.
According to Lee, doctors can inject eight or nine silicon nanoneedles in a single cell without any cell damage. Using the vertically ordered silicon nanoneedles, the real-time observation between the interaction of cell and nanoneedles has been observed.
Researchers have been developing the patch’s functionality thereby acting as an external skin patch. It lowers the pain, invasiveness, and toxicity entering into the cells due to long-term drug delivery. The next stage of the new method is to test the operational validity of the patch. The operational validity of the patches monitors the cellular electrical activity or treating the cancerous tissue.
Being Purdue’s 150th anniversary, the silicon nanoneedle technology aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps, acknowledging the universities’ other global advancements in various fields including health, space, artificial intelligence.