Implantable Drug Delivery Systems Based on the Principles of Osmosis

  • John A. Culwell
  • Jose R. Gadea
  • Clarisa E. Peer
  • Jeremy C. Wright
Part of the Advances in Delivery Science and Technology book series (ADST)


Implantable, osmotically driven drug delivery systems are applicable to the delivery of small molecules, peptides, proteins, and other biomolecules, and continue to be used at the forefront of development of new clinical therapies. Sustained, zero-order drug delivery from osmotic implants has been shown to achieve consistent pharmacokinetics in multiple models and therapies. The continuous infusion features of these systems can provide improved economics, convenience, and therapeutic benefit versus bolus dosing. In animal research, ALZET osmotic implantable pumps have demonstrated the benefits of continuous infusion versus bolus dosing in various therapeutic applications, including chemotherapy, angiogenesis, and obesity. Osmotic implantable pumps have been selected for site-specific delivery to enable continuous local site infusion and avoidance of systemic effects. Applications include delivery to the spine (analgesia), tumors (oncology), cochlea (gene expression), and the brain (neurodegenerative applications). Human use applications using DUROS osmotic implantable pumps have provided delivery of agents from 1 month to over 1 year for treatment of pain, cancer, diabetes, and hepatitis.


Delivery Rate Drug Formulation Semipermeable Membrane Osmotic Pump Leuprolide Acetate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of their colleagues on the osmotic implant teams and would especially like to acknowledge helpful conversations with Dr. F. Theeuwes and Dr. L. Depass.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Culwell
    • 1
  • Jose R. Gadea
    • 1
  • Clarisa E. Peer
    • 1
  • Jeremy C. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.DURECT CorporationCupertinoUSA

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