Glass microspheres are used in many ways. The microspheres are usually 10 to 100 micrometers in diameter with varying densities, properties, and capabilities. Special morphologies can also be achieved by a variety of techniques in the laboratory. One of the most interesting morphologies of these tiny bubbles, are porous wall hollow glass microspheres (PWHGMs) with a unique porosity that can be used to fill the microspheres with a variety of cargos of various contents that can later be released on demand.
Long-Term Drug Delivery System
Science Fact... not Science Fiction
In the biomedical arena, one of the most critical needs is for improved drug delivery devices. What is exciting about glass microspheres and microsphere composites is the flexibility they can provide in terms of a platform for medical cargos. It is possible to modify the basic PWHGMs physically in terms of the size distribution of the microspheres, the size, complexity, and morphology of the pores and the ability for imparting desired characteristics to the surfaces (e.g., electrostatic charges to regulate the type and size of the molecule that can be loaded).
Additionally, PWHGMs can have different types of “gating” applied to the pores. This can further enhance the type of payload that is inserted and control the rate and delivery of those molecules in a continuous fashion, once implanted or in a triggered inducible manner (e.g., photo-enhanced diffusion effects). This permits the tight control of the spatial– temporal localization of the drug, or biomedical molecule, as it is being released into a tissue, or to control its release systemically into the body.