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.
Extended Release, Minimized Waste, Pediatric Compliance, Veterinary Medicine..
First-In-Class Novel Drug Delivery Platform
Although the PWHGMs are revolutionary in themselves, the truly exciting potential for these tiny bubbles is realized when they are combined with various biocompatible materials and matrices. An analogy can be made to fiberglass; a material which literally and figuratively can hold water.
As one of many examples, consider the use of these glass microspheres as a carrier for medicine. These microspheres are hollow spheres with a large cargo capacity contained by a porous silica glass outer shell. Once in the body, the microspheres will release the drug as the outer coating degrades and the nanopores open. The technology could be revolutionary in helping pharmaceutical companies overcome a serious hurdle in developing oral drugs. The pharmaceutical industry has a large number of drugs that are difficult to deliver orally – either because they dissolve too quickly in the aqueous system that we have in our gastrointestinal tract, or because they are very reactive and will be broken down very quickly by harsh conditions. By encasing these drugs, the microspheres protect them from this harsh environment and enable them to reach their target locations, where they release their contents. As a result, less amounts of the drug are wasted. The technology not only allows for a more efficient delivery of existing oral drugs, but it also makes possible the oral delivery of new types of drugs.
Many drugs have a very bitter taste, By completely sealing the drug in microscopic glass bubbles, we believe offensive taste can be eliminated not just masked. This can be particularly useful in delivering pediatric or veterinary medication. Another benefit of these glass microspheres is in enabling extended release formulations. Many drugs, such as antibiotics, must be taken daily over several days. When patients begin feeling better, they may discontinue taking the medication prematurely, leading to drug resistance and other problems. SpheroFill allows patients to have effective drug dosing over extended time, so the patient only has to take the drug once or possibly twice. From less waste to better medical compliance, these glass microspheres are the future of drug delivery.
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.