Body heat, fermentation drive new drug-delivery ‘micropump’

Researchers have created a new type of miniature pump activated by body heat that could be used in drug-delivery patches powered by fermentation.

The micropump contains Baker’s yeast and sugar in a small chamber. When water is added and the patch is placed on the skin, the body heat and the added water causes the yeast and sugar to ferment, generating a small amount of carbon dioxide gas. The gas pushes against a membrane and has been shown to continually pump for several hours, said Babak Ziaie, a Purdue University professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering.

Such miniature pumps could make possible drug-delivery patches that use arrays of microneedles to deliver a wider range of medications than now possible with conventional patches. Unlike many other micropumps under development or in commercial use, the new technology requires no batteries, said Ziaie, who is working with doctoral student Manuel Ochoa.

This just needs yeast, sugar, water and your own body heat, Ziaie said — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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