Electricity can pump medicine in implanted medical devices

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Engineers at Ohio State University have developed a computer model to help tiny medical implants dispense drugs on demand -- electrically.

This research may lead to more effective -- and more convenient -- forms of chemotherapy.

Though nanotechnology shows a great deal of promise for delivering drugs inside the body, researchers have had difficulty pumping fluid through the tiny passages that would have to be constructed inside such devices, explained Terry Conlisk, professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State.

In the journal Analytical Chemistry, Conlisk and his colleagues report that a very small amount of electrical current may solve that problem.

The engineers have developed the first comprehensive computer model to address electrically driven fluids in channels.

Conlisk worked with Derek Hansford, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering, doctoral student Zhi Zheng, and undergraduate research associate Jennifer McFerran.

Tests with actual nanometer-sized channels were conducted at iMEDD, Inc. -- a commercial company co-founded by Mauro Ferrari, professor of mechanical engineering and director of Ohio State's Biomedical Engineering Center -- using patented iMEDD/Ohio State technology.

The model was proven effective in tests where electrical potentials as small as one volt were able to drive saline thr

Contact: Terry Conlisk
Ohio State University

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