Journal of Nanomaterials

Journal of Nanomaterials / 2013 / Article
Special Issue

The Potential of Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery, Cell Tracking, and Regenerative Medicine 2013

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Research Article | Open Access

Volume 2013 |Article ID 864584 |

Xiang Wang, Shunbo Li, Limu Wang, Xin Yi, Yu Sanna Hui, Jianhua Qin, Weijia Wen, "Microfluidic Device for Controllable Chemical Release via Field-Actuated Membrane Incorporating Nanoparticles", Journal of Nanomaterials, vol. 2013, Article ID 864584, 6 pages, 2013.

Microfluidic Device for Controllable Chemical Release via Field-Actuated Membrane Incorporating Nanoparticles

Academic Editor: Krasimir Vasilev
Received02 Jul 2013
Accepted25 Aug 2013
Published25 Sep 2013


We report a robust magnetic-membrane-based microfluidic platform for controllable chemical release. The magnetic membrane was prepared by mixing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and carbonyl-iron nanoparticles together to obtain a flexible thin film. With combined, simultaneous regulation of magnetic stimulus and mechanical pumping, the desired chemical release rate can easily be realized. For example, the dose release experimental data was well fitted by a mathematical sigmoidal model, exhibiting a typical dose-response relationship, which shows promise in providing significant guidance for on-demand drug delivery. To test the platform’s feasibility, our microfluidic device was employed in an experiment involving Escherichia coli culture under controlled antibiotic ciprofloxacin exposure, and the expected outcomes were successfully obtained. Our experimental results indicate that such a microfluidic device, with high accuracy and easy manipulation properties, can legitimately be characterized as active chemical release system.

1. Introduction

Controllable release describes materials or devices that can control the release time or the release rate of chemicals or both. This technique has provided broad usefulness in different fields such as foods, cosmetics, pesticides, and agricultural industries [1, 2], while the most important application is active drug release [3]. It is well known that how and when a drug is delivered can have a significant effect on its potency. Traditional drug-release systems are characterized by immediate and uncontrolled drug-delivery kinetics, such system is usually referred to as passive drug release. Under such circumstance, it is possible that a given drug concentration dangerously approaches its toxic threshold to subsequently fall below the level with effective potency. From the viewpoint of the pharmacotherapy optimization, drug release should be controlled in accordance with the potent purpose and the pharmacological properties of active substances. This purpose has given great impetus to the concept known as active drug release, which first arose in the 1960s. Typically, controlled or active release is used to achieve sustained or pulsatile drug release. The rationale is to maintain drug concentration in the target receptors at a desired value as long as necessary [4]. What is actively controlled, in other words, is the drug-release rate and duration [5]. Compared with conventional dosage protocols, controlled drug release systems offer numerous advantages such as enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity [6].

In recent years, many of the thrusts into the field have spurred the rapid development of advanced drug-release systems and made numerous new discoveries. One popular approach involves incorporation of drug molecules into the matrix of microscopic polymer spheres or capsules [7, 8]. Most are fabricated with polymers having particular physical or chemical characteristics, such as good biodegradability, biocompatibility or sensitive responses to PH value [911], temperature [12], light intensity [13, 14], external electric [15] or magnetic field [16], glucose [17], and others. Additionally, recent achievements in microtechnologies have been applied in designing drug-release microdevices, for example, microneedles and implantable microchips [1820], which possess inherent advantages such as hand-held portability, sample saving, and implantable properties. The aforementioned controlled drug-release systems, moreover, can circumv