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Modeling Drug Delivery in Bioelectronics with Electrochemical Actuation.

Event Type
Mechanical Science and Engineering
4100 Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building
Mar 30, 2022   4:00 pm  
Raudel Avila, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University
Amy Rumsey
Originating Calendar
MechSE Seminars


Injectable drug delivery systems with electrochemical actuation represent an emerging class of bioelectronics technology that offer programmable volume and flowrate capabilities for targeted drug delivery applications.  Recent work establishes applications in behavioral neuroscience experiments involving small animals to study a pharmacological response without restricting animal motion.  However, for programmable drug delivery, the available flowrate and drug delivery time modeling strategies fail to consider key variables of the bioelectronics delivery mechanism – microfluidic resistance and flexible membrane stiffness.  Here we establish an analytical model that accounts for the key parameters involved in the delivery process – initial environmental pressure, initial gas volume, microfluidic resistance, flexible membrane geometry and mechanics, drug viscosity, electrical current and temperature – to control the relevant drug delivery parameters (i.e., delivery time, maximum flowrate) using only a unique combination of 3 non-dimensional parameters. This approach does not require numerical simulations and allows for a faster system optimization based on a scalable understanding of the non-dimensional parameters for different in vivo experiments in small animals. These results have relevance to the many emerging applications of programmable drug delivery in clinical studies within the neuroscience and broader biomedical communities.


About the Speaker

Raudel Avila is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso. His current research focuses on modeling the mechanics and electromagnetics in bio integrated electronics for health and biomedical applications. As a PhD candidate, he has published more than 30 journal papers, many as lead author in high profile journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (JMPS). He is currently a National Science Foundation GRFP Fellow (2018) and a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow (2018). In 2019, Raudel received the Outstanding Researcher Award from the International Institute of Nanotechnology at Northwestern University.

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