Chapter Seven
Application of MEMS in Drug Delivery:
The Dynamic Between Biocompatibility
and Biofunctionality
Gabriela Voskerician
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University,
Cleveland, Ohio-44122, USA
The 21
century approach to patient pharmacological treatment is a projection of
our consumer oriented society. The patient population demands more efficient and
effective therapies, with less hospitalization time and fewer physician visits, and the
opportunity to lead a normal life, reflected by limited therapy related constraints.
Achieving such goals significantly surpasses the capabilities of traditional oral or
injectable treatments. Such need opens the avenue to drug delivery solutions that
present versatile, dynamic, and reliable control over prescribed conventional treat-
ments. The present work intends to address the critical aspects of biocompatibility
and biofunctionality as they relate to the development of novel drug delivery solu-
tions, here exclusively exemplified by micro-electromechanical systems for clinical
therapy (BioMEMS).
7.1.1 Current Therapies in Drug Delivery
Factors such as need for long-term treatment, narrow therapeutic window, com-
plex dosing schedule, combination therapy, individualized or emergency dosing
regimen, and labile active agents are presently outside of the capabilities of con-
ventional drug administration.
Drug delivery systems such as tablets or injections
typically result in a drug delivery profile marked by an initial sharp increase in
concentration above the therapeutic range, followed by a relatively rapid decrease
into the non-therapeutic range.
Thus, the drug concentration remains within the
therapeutic range for a very short period of time, often too short, necessitating
subsequent administration. In the case of potent drugs, a concentration signifi-
Biomaterials for MEMS, Edited b y M. Chiao and J.-C. Chiao
Copyright © 2011 by Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd.
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