Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 8, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

Overcoming transport limitations in miniaturized electrophoretic delivery devices

Author affiliations


Organic electronic ion pumps (OEIPs) have been used for delivery of biological signaling compounds, at high spatiotemporal resolution, to a variety of biological targets. The miniaturization of this technology provides several advantages, ranging from better spatiotemporal control of delivery to reduced invasiveness for implanted OEIPs. One route to miniaturization is to develop OEIPs based on glass capillary fibers that are filled with a polyelectrolyte (cation exchange membrane, CEM). These devices can be easily inserted and brought into close proximity to targeted cells and tissues and could be considered as a starting point for other fiber-based OEIP and “iontronic” technologies enabling favorable implantable device geometries. While characterizing capillary OEIPs we observed deviations from the typical linear current–voltage behavior. Here we report a systematic investigation of these irregularities by performing experimental characterizations in combination with computational modelling. The cause of the observed irregularities is due to concentration polarization established at the OEIP inlet, which in turn causes electric field-enhanced water dissociation at the inlet. Water dissociation generates protons and is typically problematic for many applications. By adding an ion-selective cap that separates the inlet from the source reservoir this effect is then, to a large extent, suppressed. By increasing the surface area of the inlet with the addition of the cap, the concentration polarization is reduced which thereby allows for significantly higher delivery rates. These results demonstrate a useful approach to optimize transport and delivery of therapeutic substances at low concentrations via miniaturized electrophoretic delivery devices, thus considerably broadening the opportunities for implantable OEIP applications.

Graphical abstract: Overcoming transport limitations in miniaturized electrophoretic delivery devices

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 10 Jan 2019, accepted on 08 Mar 2019 and first published on 11 Mar 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9LC00038K
Lab Chip, 2019,19, 1427-1435
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
  •   Request permissions

    Overcoming transport limitations in miniaturized electrophoretic delivery devices

    M. Seitanidou, K. Tybrandt, M. Berggren and D. T. Simon, Lab Chip, 2019, 19, 1427
    DOI: 10.1039/C9LC00038K

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author