Drug delivery microdevices based on MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems) represent the next generation of active implantable drug delivery systems. MEMS technology has enabled the scaling down of current delivery modalities to the micrometer and millimeter size. The complementary use of biocompatible materials makes this technology potentially viable for a wide variety of clinical applications. Conditions such as brain tumors, chronic pain syndromes, and infectious abscess represent specialized clinical diseases that will likely benefit most from such drug delivery microdevices. Designing MEMS microdevices poses considerable technical and clinical challenges as devices need to be constructed from biocompatible materials that are harmless to human tissue. Devices must also be miniaturized and capable of delivering adequate pharmacologic payload. Balancing these competing needs will likely lead to the successful application of MEMS drug delivery devices to various medical conditions. This work reviews the various factors that must be considered in optimizing MEMS microdevices for their appropriate and successful application to medical disease.
Keywords: Biomedical microdevices, MEMS, drug delivery, microdevices, controlled release, cancer, implantable devices, biocompatibility, chronic illnesses, acute conditions, pharmacokinetic profiles, chemotherapy, medical challenges
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