IISc, Bengaluru develops shock wave induced drug delivery patch for vaccines, insulin & antibiotics

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru has now developed a novel shock wave induced drug delivery patch that will replace the painful injections and stall needle stick injuries. The patch developed with hydro collide material is designed to hold on active molecules like vaccines, insulin and antibiotics. The pre-clinical studies are complete and now the Institute is set to scout for bio-pharma industry partners to take the research to human trials and technology transfer for commercialisation thereafter.

The research is carried by IISc’s departments of aerospace engineering and the department of microbiology and cell biology.   A number of methodologies to generate shock waves of requisite strength have been designed and indigenously built in the Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shockwave Research (LHSR) in IISc. 

“This is an unusual kind of experiment with shock waves which is commonly associated with aerospace engineering. In fact, shock waves appear in nature, whenever different elements in a fluid, approach one another with a velocity larger than the local speed of sound. LHSR is among the best in the world and there are only 7 countries globally that have such a facility. There are 35 PhDs working on varied technologies and drug delivery device is one such research.  Utilising shock waves to increase the pressure and temperature in a propagating medium, enabled the development of shock wave assisted non-intrusive needleless drug delivery system, gene gun, cell transformation device at our lab”,  Dr Gopalan Jagadeesh, chairman, centre for excellence, Hypersonics and Professor, department of Aerospace Engineering, IISc, told Pharmabiz.

“We understand enough about shock waves. Now this needle free drug delivery device for vaccines and other injectable drugs is seen to be a landmark finding. The technology is patented in US and India,” he added.

The effectiveness of shock wave technologies can be a non-invasive treatment modality for diabetic foot wounds and vaccine delivery among others. The drug delivery is targeted and accurate into the Langerhans cells which are present in all layers of the epidermis, making it cost effective, he said.

Dr. Jagadeesh is also the Founder Director of Super-Wave Technology Pvt. Ltd, an initiative with equity participation from IISc to commercialise his discoveries related to industrial applications of shock waves.  “Now it becomes very easy to ink pacts with the bio-pharma industry to upscale this technology finding. There is also an Ethics Committee within the IIsc to co-ordinate once an bio-pharma industry partner is identified, he said.

Another big advantage of the shock wave induced drug delivery is the positive outcome of both in-vivo and in-vitro studies which provides ample indication that we are on the right track, said Dr. Jagadeesh.

Dr Dipshikha Chakravorthy, associate professor, department of microbiology and cell biology, IISc said that the shock wave induced drug delivery patch is a significant development. With the rise in metabolic disorders like diabetes, this is seen as the way forward to replace injections and draw blood for diagnostic tests.

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