Injectable, Disease-Responsive Nanocontainers

Nanotechnologies : Life Science Apps

Available for licensing


  • Krishnendu Roy, Ph.D. , Biomedical Engineering
  • Li Shi, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Luz-Cristal Glangchai , Biomedical Engineering

Background/unmet need

Current drug delivery technologies rely on diffusion/degradation and are neither targeted nor stimuli-responsive. Further, several MEMS-based drug delivery devices have been formulated, but the efficacy of introducing these drugs to the patient has been compromised. Current technologies require direct injection of a contrast agent, which can result in poor targeting of tissues and interfering noise in the subsequent image. Additionally, most MEMS-based drug delivery devices must be surgically implanted and removed, causing potential inflammatory response issues that can complicate effective drug release. Finally, current drug delivery vehicles are too large for systemic delivery, and they lack any stimuli-responsive mechanism.

Invention Description

This technology embodies a MEMS/NEMS-based drug delivery device. The main approach utilizes micro/nanofabrication technology to develop micro- and nanocarriers that are capable of releasing both drugs and contrast agents in response to stimuli. This novel device not only achieves accurate drug delivery, but it also provides for the simultaneous non-invasive monitoring of both therapeutics and the delivery device. It does this by delivering the drug and the contrast agent at the same time; this technique allows the easy evaluation of processes such as whether the particles reach the desired target, intracellular uptake, and subsequent release. Further, because this device is injectable, no surgery is required, and potential inflammatory responses are diminished. In addition to being injectable, this device contains a physiologically responsive lid that only allows drug release when triggered by specific stimuli.


  • Reduced side effects
  • Site-specific
  • Controlled
  • Increased bioavailability
  • Improved therapeutic effectiveness
  • Can be used for systemic, intracellular targeted delivery
  • Easy evaluation of the delivery
  • Reduced cost of development


    ”Intelligent ” release mechanismDelivers therapeutic and imaging agents at the same timeContains a physiologic responsive lid

Market potential/applications

This technology can potentially incorporate other stimuli-sensitive polymeric lids to control drug release. This can also be used to target diseased cells and tissues. Specifically, ligands can be attached to the carrier to help accurately locate the target of interest. Finally, the polymeric lid material can be used as a coating or shaved to create stimuli-sensitive polymeric nanoparticles.

Development Stage

Proof of concept

IP Status

Web Links