Minimally invasive probes for programmed microfluidic delivery of moleculesin vivo

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HIGHLIGHTSThere is a need for more biocompatible site-specific drug delivery devices.Miniaturized (<100 μm) and flexible (<5 GPa) devices minimize tissue invasiveness.Programmable and on-demand drug delivery enables freedom of movement.Flexible microfluidics and wireless electronics will improve site-specific drug delivery.Site-specific drug delivery carries many advantages of systemic administration, but is rarely used in the clinic. One limiting factor is the relative invasiveness of the technology to locally deliver compounds. Recent advances in materials science and electrical engineering allow for the development of ultraminiaturized microfluidic channels based on soft materials to create flexible probes capable of deep tissue targeting. A diverse set of mechanics, including micro-pumps and functional materials, used to deliver the drugs can be paired with wireless electronics for self-contained and programmable operation. These first iterations of minimally invasive fluid delivery devices foreshadow important advances needed for clinical translation.

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