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Injectable nanogel could revolutionize meds administration

March 4, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Unlike other drug delivery gels that need to be surgically implanted, a new nanogel technology could deliver time-released drugs via a simple injection.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a hydrogel consisting of a mesh network made from polymer nanoparticles that are entwined with strands of another polymer, such as cellulose.

The result, researchers say, is a gel that is flexible enough to be pushed through a syringe needle without damaging the time-release aspects of the gel once it's in the body.

And because two different materials are initially used to create the gel, two different time-released drugs can be delivered at the same time.

"Now you have a gel that can change shape when you apply stress to it, and then, importantly, it can re-heal when you relax those forces. That allows you to squeeze it through a syringe or a needle and get it into the body without surgery,” said Mark Tibbitt, a researcher at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, in a press release.