IMPROVEMENT OF THE MICROFLUIDIC DEVICE FOR THE GENERATION OF MONODISPERSE MICROBUBBLES AS DRUG TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
Keywords:Microbubbles, Ultrasound, Drugs, Tumours Tratment
INTRODUCTION: The localized delivery of drugs has been established since the early eighties of the 20th century as a promising alternative for the localized treatment of tumours, based on the mitigation of side effects produced by traditional methods, notably the administration of chemotherapy by systemic route. Countless scientific works have been dealing with this theme in an attempt to make this therapeutic technique viable and accessible. One of the ways to take the drug to the chosen site is through the use of microbubbles as drug carrier units activated through an ultrasonic field with adequate wavelength and frequency. Therefore, these units must have very peculiar characteristics, such as dimensions, homogeneity, echogenicity and structural characteristics, in addition to the ability to take the therapeutic vector intact to the desired location. In the generation of microbubbles, microfluidic devices of different geometries and different configurations are used, according to the state of the art related to this theme. DEVELOPMENT: In this work the technique used is the fabrication of micro fluidic devices using 3D printing. With this technique, it is possible to manufacture the devices in a single step, eliminating time-consuming and more complex intermediate procedures. The devices were manufactured using an Object Eden 250 printer, using the transparent resin VeroClear®. With these devices it was possible to produce microbubbles with diameters of the order of 16-73 µm with degrees of poly dispersion less than 1%. However, there are difficulties to be overcome, notably with regard to the final composition of the devices. Due to the physical characteristics of the microbubble, notably in relation to its lipid coating layer, the search for drug transport systems is an important strategy. CONCLUSION: In this work, an account of these difficulties will be made, in addition to the proposition of alternatives to overcome them. Additionally, compatible drugs will be suggested to be attached to microbubbles according to their structural composition.
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