Self-powered, light-controlled, bioresorbable platforms for programmed drug delivery

Yamin Zhang, Fei Liua, Yuhe Zhang, Jin Wanga, Dominic D'Andrea, Jordan B. Walters, Shupeng Li, Hong Joon Yoon, Mingzheng Wu, Shuo Li, Ziying Hu, Tong Wang, Junhwan Choi, Keith Bailey, Elizabeth Dempsey, Kaiyu Zhaoa, Anastasia Lantsova, Yasmine Bouricha, Ivy Huanga, Hexia GuoaXinchen Ni, Yunyun Wu, Geumbee Lee, Fuchang Jiang, Yonggang Huang, Colin K. Franz*, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Degradable polymer matrices and porous scaffolds provide powerful mechanisms for passive, sustained release of drugs relevant to the treatment of a broad range of diseases and conditions. Growing interest is in active control of pharmacokinetics tailored to the needs of the patient via programmable engineering platforms that include power sources, delivery mechanisms, communication hardware, and associated electronics, most typically in forms that require surgical extraction after a period of use. Here we report a light-controlled, self-powered technology that bypasses key disadvantages of these systems, in an overall design that is bioresorbable. Programmability relies on the use of an external light source to illuminate an implanted, wavelength-sensitive phototransistor to trigger a short circuit in an electrochemical cell structure that includes a metal gate valve as its anode. Consequent electrochemical corrosion eliminates the gate, thereby opening an underlying reservoir to release a dose of drugs by passive diffusion into surrounding tissue. A wavelength-division multiplexing strategy allows release to be programmed from any one or any arbitrary combination of a collection of reservoirs built into an integrated device. Studies of various bioresorbable electrode materials define the key considerations and guide optimized choices in designs. In vivo demonstrations of programmed release of lidocaine adjacent the sciatic nerves in rat models illustrate the functionality in the context of pain management, an essential aspect of patient care that could benefit from the results presented here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2217734120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 8 2023


  • battery
  • bioresorbable
  • drug delivery
  • light-controlled
  • self-powered

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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