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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Injectable self-healing gel provides long-term drug delivery

• http://www.gizmag.com,By Chris Wood

The new gel, which can carry two drugs at once, allows for more convenient treatment of numerous conditions.

Using gel as a method of drug delivery can allow for greater versatility than traditional liquid solutions. Gels can be molded into specific shapes, can be used to deliver treatment over extended periods of time and, thanks to their static nature, can provide treatment targeted at specific tissue. However, conventional methods of treatment using gel require the patient to undergo surgery, meaning it's not always a convenient option.

A team of MIT scientists has tackled the issue by developing a new hydrogel that has the ability to heal itself, allowing it to be administered using a syringe. The method has the potential to be useful in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

While existing hydrogels, such as those used to create soft contact lenses, cannot have their shape easily altered once formed, the new gel combines two separate polymers with weaker linkages that can be broken and reformed.

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