A microfluidic reciprocating intracochlear drug delivery system with reservoir and active dose control
Reciprocating microfluidic drug delivery, as compared to steady or pulsed infusion, has unique features which may be advantageous in many therapeutic applications. We have previously described a device, designed for wearable use in small animal models, that periodically infuses and then withdraws a sub-microliter volume of drug solution to and from the endogenous fluid of the inner ear. This delivery approach results in zero net volume of liquid transfer while enabling mass transport of compounds to the cochlea by means of diffusion and mixing. We report here on an advanced wearable delivery system aimed at further miniaturization and complex dosing protocols. Enhancements to the system include the incorporation of a planar micropump to generate reciprocating flow and a novel drug reservoir that maintains zero net volume delivery and permits programmable modulation of the drug concentration in the infused bolus. The reciprocating pump is fabricated from laminated polymer films and employs a miniature electromagnetic actuator to meet the size and weight requirements of a head-mounted in vivo guinea pig testing system. The reservoir comprises a long microchannel in series with a micropump, connected in parallel with the reciprocating flow network. We characterized in vitro the response and repeatability of the planar pump and compared the results with a lumped element simulation. We also characterized the performance of the reservoir, including repeatability of dosing and range of dose modulation. Acute in vivo experiments were performed in which the reciprocating pump was used to deliver a test compound to the cochlea of anesthetized guinea pigs to evaluate short-term safety and efficacy of the system. These advances are key steps toward realization of an implantable device for long-term therapeutic applications in humans.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Implantable Devices and Microtechnologies in Medicine and Biology (MMB 2013)