Georgia Tech inventors created a self-powered wearable iontophoretic TDD system that can be driven and regulated by the energy harvested from biomechanical motions is proposed for closed-loop motion detection and therapy. Iontophoresis is an electro-medical method of delivering chemicals through the skin to a specific anatomical site. Advances in wearable biosensors enable sustained, non-invasive, real-time monitoring of human activities and biomarkers that can avoid pain and irritation. A wearable triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is used as the motion sensor and energy harvester that can convert biomechanical motions into electricity for iontophoresis without stored-energy power sources, while a hydrogel-based soft patch with side by side electrodes is designed to enable non-invasive iontophoretic TDD. Proof-of-concept experiments on pig skin with dyes as model drugs successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed system. This work not only extends the application of TENG in the biomedical field, but may also provide a cost-effective solution for non-invasive, electrically-assisted TDD with closed loop sensing and treatment.
- Fully wearable
- Low cost
Non-invasive transdermal drug delivery, such as systemic and local dermal analgesia.
Reduction of inflammation that might be seen in musculoskeletal conditions, in a physical therapy setting
Glucose-responsive insulin delivery system, which can mimic the pancreas to release insulin with a proper dose at a proper time point by responding to plasma glucose levels
Transdermal drug delivery (TDD), which refers to the transport of pharmacological agents through the skin typically for systemic administration, has become a common medical practice with over twenty commercially available transdermal drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Compared to alternatives like oral delivery and hypodermic injection, TDD has many advantages such as being non-invasive, painless, convenient, inexpensive and self-administered. It also avoids the risk of disease transmission by needle re-use and the first-pass hepatic metabolism of drugs. It enables continuous administration of drugs, making it attractive for long-term treatment that reduces the risk of peaks and valleys in drug concentration in the systemic circulation. The availability of drugs that can be delivered via TDD systems has been extended by various methods of enhancing skin permeability, including the use of chemical molecules, bio-molecules and physical tools. Recent research efforts on TDD has focused on the development of wearable systems with closed-loop sensing and drug delivery.