Draper working on inner ear drug delivery device
The programmable wearable microfluidic drug delivery system consists of a housing with control electronics, battery and pump, and connecting tubing. The pump is implanted in the temporal bone, with the tube leading onto the cochlea, injecting drugs from the tip. Drug dosing can be precisely timed. The device can be used for local delivery of drugs that might promote regeneration of inner ear hair cells. Tests so far have been conducted only in guinea pigs, but the researchers are working on making a smaller human-implantable version and aim to have it ready for clinical trials within five years.