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Sugar, Yeast, Water and Heat is One Purdue University Researcher’s Recipe for a Better Drug Delivery Pump


10/11/2012 8:13:26 AM

The key to a more convenient, less uncomfortable way to deliver injectable drugs could lie in ingredients found not in a high-tech lab but in most people’s kitchens. Purdue University researchers used a simple solution of sugar, yeast, water and body heat to create a tiny pump they think could someday power a drug delivery patch. Just 1.5 centimeters in size, the device looks like this: A drug chamber with an output port is separated from a small chamber housing sugar and yeast by a layer of flexible polymer. To activate the pump, water is added to the yeast and sugar chamber, and the device is put on the skin. Body heat sparks fermentation of the yeast and sugar, which produces carbon dioxide gas that pushes against the membrane, forcing the drug out of the port.

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