Implantable drug delivery device using frequency-controlled wireless hydrogel microvalves
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- Rahimi, S., Sarraf, E.H., Wong, G.K. et al. Biomed Microdevices (2011) 13: 267. doi:10.1007/s10544-010-9491-5
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This paper reports a micromachined drug delivery device that is wirelessly operated using radiofrequency magnetic fields for implant applications. The controlled release from the drug reservoir of the device is achieved with the microvalves of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) thermoresponsive hydrogel that are actuated with a wireless resonant heater, which is activated only when the field frequency is tuned to the resonant frequency of the heater circuit. The device is constructed by bonding a 1-mm-thick polyimide component with the reservoir cavity to the heater circuit that uses a planar coil with the size of 5–10 mm fabricated on polyimide film, making all the outer surfaces to be polyimide. The release holes created in a reservoir wall are opened/closed by the hydrogel microvalves that are formed inside the reservoir by in-situ photolithography that uses the reservoir wall as a photomask, providing the hydrogel structures self-aligned to the release holes. The wireless heaters exhibit fast and strong response to the field frequency, with a temperature increase of up to 20°C for the heater that has the 34-MHz resonant frequency, achieving 38-% shrinkage of swelled hydrogel when the heater is excited at its resonance. An active frequency range of ~2 MHz is observed for the hydrogel actuation. Detailed characteristics in the fabrication and actuation of the hydrogel microvalves as well as experimental demonstrations of frequency-controlled temporal release are reported.