An Exploratory Study of a Catheter-Based Direct Drug-Delivery System

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Abstract Summary


The vasculature of the circulatory system represents an extensive and established network of vessels that travel throughout the body. The potential of this network for direct drug delivery applications has not been fully realized. This project investigates the viability of using blood vessels as a pathway for providing treatment to obscure areas of the body. Cardiac catheterization has a long-standing precedent in cardiology and in the treatment of many diseases. Currently, catheters are not used to deliver medication outside of blood vessels, and the limitations of current drugs could be overcome through precise delivery to target locations. Drugs are often limited in their effectiveness due to hepatic first-pass filtration. Their administration frequently results in off-target cell damage due to lack of specificity and need for higher dosages to reach effective therapeutic levels. The catheter designed in this project features a curved internal guide for the advancement of a flexible needle to puncture the vessel wall at an angle. Prototype testing involved the use of a dynamometer to obtain forces necessary for puncturing porcine tissue samples. The test results were used to select materials with optimal mechanical properties. An economical scaled 3D-printed prototype of the model was created to determine the feasibility of the mechanical design. Testing of the model was performed in a porcine vein suspended in an agarose gel system. The results of this investigation successfully demonstrate the feasibility of using vasculature to directly deliver drugs within the body.

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Engineering & Information Sciences
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AM1 (9:30 - 10:30)