MIT researchers have developed a kirigami-style stent that can provide localized drug delivery through needle-like projections that come out when the stent is extended. The “spines” on the surface of the stent supply drug-laden microparticles to the surrounding tissue, allowing sustained release over an extended period of time. The technology is well-suited for administering drugs within tubular structures, such as those found in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and blood vessels.
Treatment of inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, is often performed by systemic administration of immunosuppressive drugs. However, this means that side effects are possible in tissues outside the target. Localized delivery would be better, but it requires a method to insert a drug precisely into the intestinal wall where it is needed.
The latter technology can provide an answer, both for the delivery of gastrointestinal drugs and in other areas where a stent can be placed. “This technology could be applied essentially to any tubular organ,” Giovanni Traverso, a researcher involved in the study, said in an MIT press release. “Having the ability to deliver drugs locally, infrequently, really maximizes the likelihood of helping solve patients’ conditions and can be transformative in the way we think about patient care by allowing local delivery. and prolonged drug after a single treatment “.
The stents consist of an elastic rubber tube covered with a layer of plastic containing spines. These come out when the stent is extended by a small actuator. “The novelty of our approach is that we have used tools and concepts of mechanics, combined with the bioinspiration of scaly animals, to develop a new class of drug delivery systems with the ability to deposit drug deposits directly in the luminal walls of tubular organs by prolonged release, “said Sahab Babaee, another researcher involved in the study.” Kirigami stents were designed to provide a reversible transformation: from flat needles, to 3D, with buckle for tissue involvement, and then in the original flat shape for easy and safe extraction. “
The stent is intended to be delivered endoscopically, and then a balloon is used to expand and stretch it when it reaches the target tissue. To date, researchers have tested the system in pig intestines and used the stent to administer budesonide, a steroid drug for inflammatory bowel disease. The researchers were able to deliver, deploy and remove the stent within minutes. The left microparticles were able to release budesonide continuously for a week.
Watch a video on technology:
Study a Materials of nature: Kirigami-inspired stents for sustained local delivery of therapeutic products