PI: Christopher Bettinger
University: Carnegie Mellon University

Compliance with oral medications is poor, costing the US healthcare system $100BB a year annually and contributing to ~100,000 premature deaths each year. Compliance with oral medications varies inversely with the frequency of administration. Reducing the frequency of administration by increasing the residence time of ingested drug delivery systems can dramatically improve compliance. However, current strategies to increase the residence time of ingestible devices are largely ineffective.

This project will leverage in-house expertise in biodegradable elastomers, polymer processing, and genipin-eluting systems to manufacture device-based oral delivery systems to increase the residence time within the small intestine of the GI tract by up to 10X. Specifically, we propose a centimeter-scale flexible self-expanding mucoadhesive device that resists peristalsis by mechanical interlocking and increasing mucin viscosity. The device will feature micropost arrays that mechanically interlock with the villi of the small intestine, as well as reservoirs to elute genpin, a natural protein crosslinker, to chemically stabilize local mucin networks and increase the viscosity. Chemo-mechanical interlocking increases mucoadhesion at the tissue-device interface, resist peristalsis, and therefore increases the residence time for oral drug delivery devices transiting the GI tract.