SNUH develops implantable drug delivery device < Hospital < 기사본문 – KBR

A research team at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) has developed an implantable drug delivery device that injects drugs into the body with a button click.
According to the hospital, patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes or high obesity, are self-injecting drugs like insulin three to four times a day. However, self-injection drug administration through needles causes discomfort such as needle phobia, pain, infection, and puncture accidents.
The hospital noted that 20-30 percent of patients have a severe phobia of needles, which leads them to avoid administering the drugs on a set schedule due to the negative psychological factors of their stance toward needle injection.
Some companies have developed an external wearable drug injector or implantable drug injector to replace needle injections. However, the hospital said that these devices accompanied the inconvenience of attaching them to the skin with an adhesive sticker for a long time or requiring frequent battery replacement.
The SNUH team, led by Professors Choi Young-bin and Cho Young-min, developed a device that can accurately and easily inject drugs with the click of a button after a single implantation procedure.
The device allows easy drug dose adjustment by varying the number of button clicks. The device is also equipped with a refill port and a drug reservoir, enabling multiple drug replenishment through regular injections by medical staff without device replacement surgery.
To check the effects of injecting drugs related to obesity and diabetes in the body, the research team conducted an animal experiment by dividing the group into the conventional needle subcutaneous injection drug administration group and the implantable device drug administration group.
As a result, in the case of diabetes and obesity treatment, both groups showed the same level of food intake and weight loss. At the same time, the team found that the degree of lowering or raising blood sugar was similar in the two groups for insulin and glucagon.
The researchers also confirmed the device's safety as the researchers found no specific foreign body reaction or toxicity 56 days after the implant surgery.
“The results of this study are meaningful in that they allow patients to inject drugs without needles conveniently,” Professor Cho said. “The developed device will provide convenience to patients and expect high therapeutic effects.”
Professor Choi also said, “In the future, we expect to apply the device to many self-injection type drugs and drugs related to obesity and diabetes.”
The team hopes that it will become a next-generation biomedical technology that enhances the convenience of drug treatment for patients suffering from chronic diseases, Choi added.
Bioengineering and Translational Medicine has published the result of the study.

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