New Methods for Drug Delivery

Dr. Prausnitz and his colleagues carry out research on biophysical methods of drug delivery, which employ microneedles, ultrasound, lasers, electric fields, heat, convective forces, and other physical means to control the transport of drugs, proteins, genes, and vaccines into and within the body.

A major area of focus involves the use of microneedle patches to apply vaccines to the skin in a painless, minimally invasive manner. In collaboration with Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations, Dr. Prausnitzʼs group is advancing microneedles from device design and fabrication through pharmaceutical formulation and pre-clinical animal studies through studies in human subjects. In addition to developing a self-administered influenza vaccine using microneedles, Dr. Prausnitz is translating microneedles technology especially to make vaccination in developing countries more effective.

The Prausnitz group has also developed hollow microneedles for injection into the skin and into the eye in collaboration with Emory University. In the skin, research focuses on insulin administration to human diabetic patients to increase onset of action by targeting insulin delivery to the skin. In the eye, hollow microneedles enable precise targeting of injection to the suprachoroidal space and other intraocular tissues for minimally invasive delivery to treat macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.

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