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Ionic Hydrogel for Accelerated Dopamine Delivery via Retrodialysis

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2019, 16:34 by Christopher M. Proctor, Chung Yuen Chan, Luca Porcarelli, Esther Udabe, Ana Sanchez-Sanchez, Isabel del Agua, David Mecerreyes, George G. Malliaras
Local drug delivery directly to the source of a given pathology using retrodialysis is a promising approach to treating otherwise untreatable diseases. As the primary material component in retrodialysis, the semipermeable membrane represents a critical point for innovation. This work presents a new ionic hydrogel based on polyethylene glycol and acrylate with dopamine counterions. The ionic hydrogel membrane is shown to be a promising material for controlled diffusive delivery of dopamine. The ionic nature of the membrane accelerates uptake of cationic species compared to a nonionic membrane of otherwise similar composition. It is demonstrated that the increased uptake of cations can be exploited to confer an accelerated transport of cationic species between reservoirs as is desired in retrodialysis applications. This effect is shown to enable nearly 10-fold increases in drug delivery rates from low concentration solutions. The processability of the membrane is found to allow for integration with microfabricated devices which will in turn accelerate adaptation into both existing and emerging device modalities. It is anticipated that a similar materials design approach may be broadly applied to a variety of cationic and anionic compounds for drug delivery applications ranging from neurological disorders to cancer.