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Crystallized Drugs to protect Implants against Immune attack

03rd July 2019

Many of the implantable medical devices that interacts with human body are prone to the immune system’s foreign body response (FBR). This results in the creation of scars around the implant and its functionality decreases with time. Now, to avoid this serious localized immune reaction, scientists from MIT have developed a new way to embed crystallized immunosuppressant drugs into implantable devices.

To prove the success of this concept, the researchers used their drug crystals to protect encapsulated islet cells that are being researched as type 1 diabetes treatment. The rodents and monkeys were implanted with this and survived for at least 1.3 years and 6 months, respectively.

The crystallization of the immunosuppressant helped the researchers to densely concentrate it, making the whole package small and practical to use. The approach used by the researchers works for months at a time because the crystals take time to dissolve. The researchers were able to control the mechanism duration by altering the shape and size of those crystals.

The crystals were tested with many different medical devices and positive results like controlled drug release and medical device protection were achieved.

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