Intravitreal implantable magnetic micropump for on-demand VEGFR-targeted drug delivery

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In this paper, we propose an intravitreal implantable magnetic micropump integrated with micro check valve capable of on-demand vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-targeted drug delivery for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other eye pathologies characterized by ocular neoangiogenesis. Precise on-demand drug release is realized by the deflection of the magnetic membrane assembly according to the external magnetic field, and the membrane assembly consists of a thin elastic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane and a cylindrical magnetic nanoparticle-PDMS composite block. Additionally, a micro check valve composed of two PDMS layers was integrated into the micropump to realize a diode-like one-directional drug delivery and prevent undesired drug diffusion. For specifically targeting VEGFR and suppression of VEGF-induced proliferation of microvascular endothelial cells, anti-Flt1 gold nanocomplexes are synthesized. In vitro and in vivo experiments and quantitative analysis are carried out in order to verify our proposed concept: precise drug release control according to the external magnetic field, targeting to microvascular endothelial cells, and efficient and on-demand drug delivery from the proposed micropump to the macular area of rabbit's eye.

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