Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA; Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA; Center for Implantable Devices, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
With approximately 48,000 attributed deaths in 2017, the opioid overdose is now the leading cause of death amongst Americans under the age of 50. The overdose process can be interrupted by the administration of naloxone, a safe and effective opiate antagonist that can reverse the effects of overdose and minimizing the delay in administering the antidote is critical in preventing permanent damage to patients. A closed-loop implantable drug delivery system is an ideal solution to minimize the response time, however, they often feature complex designs that are expensive to fabricate and require a more invasive surgical implantation. Here we propose a simple, low-cost, minimally-invasive automatic antidote delivery device (A2D2) that can administer a large dose of naloxone upon detection of overdose-induced respiratory failure. The subcutaneously placed device can be activated using an externally applied time varying magnetic field from a wearable device. Using a custom magnetic field generator, we were able to release the drug within 10 s. Our bench-top evaluation showed that A2D2 can release 1.9 mg of powdered drug within 60 s and up to 8.8 mg in 600 s. We also performed in vivo evaluation to demonstrate rapid drug releasing capability in the subcutaneous space of mice. However, we saw a small amount of leakage (1.75% of payload) over the course of 1000 h of simulated implantation. Thus, additional research is needed to verify the long term stability of our device and to demonstrate the closed-loop release mechanism to revive overdosed animals. Nevertheless, our preliminary results show the potential of using a simple, low-cost, subcutaneous device for emergency drug delivery application.