Kirigami-Inspired Stents Can Deliver Drugs to GI Tract

Kirigami-Inspired Stents Can Deliver Drugs to GI Tract

Can temporarily lodge in tubular organs to release drugs.

By Anne Trafton, MIT News Office06.15.21
Inspired by kirigami, the Japanese art of folding and cutting paper to create three-dimensional structures, MIT engineers and their collaborators have designed a new type of stent that could be used to deliver drugs to the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, or other tubular organs in the body.
The stents are coated in a smooth layer of plastic etched with small “needles” that pop up when the tube is stretched, allowing the needles to penetrate tissue and deliver a payload of drug-containing microparticles. Those drugs are then released over an extended period of time after the stent is removed.
This kind of localized drug delivery could make it easier to treat inflammatory diseases affecting the GI tract such as inflammatory bowel disease or eosinophilic esophagitis, said Giovanni Traverso, an MIT assistant professor of mechanical engineering, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the senior author of the study.
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