Under Pressure: Implantable Gel Releases Drugs When Squeezed 

by Gene Ostrovsky on Mar 19, 2013

Patient controlled drug delivery is useful in a variety of situations when people themselves are best in deciding when to administer a medication. Pain, nausea, and vertigo can often be treated with drugs, but only if those are administered effectively for the body to absorb. Yet, having to have some kind of device that introduces medicines to the body is a major impediment to practical implementation.

Japanese researchers have now developed a new approach that delivers drugs in a controlled manner but doesn’t require any devices to do so. They were able to embed an antiemetic (ondansetron) into a specialty gel that, when squeezed, releases the drug into its environment. This ability to release the chemical compound due to pressure was maintained by the gel for at least three days. The team envisions that these new gels will be implanted under the skin to deliver drugs that are best avoided orally (ex: antiemetics) or that would require an injection.