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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S001549/1
Title: A Low-Cost Batteryless Wireless Dosage Sensor for Implantable Drug Delivery
Principal Investigator: Liu, Dr X
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) Mediwise Ltd Royal Veterinary College
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship - NHFP
Starts: 25 June 2018 Ends: 24 June 2021 Value (£): 583,239
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioelectronic Devices Biomaterials
Drug Formulation & Delivery
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 May 2018 EPSRC UKRI CL Innovation Fellowship Interview Panel 10 - 10 and 11 May 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Many chronic medical conditions can be managed by patients taking specific drugs, such as naltrexone for opioid addiction, buprenorphine for chronic pain and insulin for diabetes at specific dose levels on a regular or periodic basis. These drugs are typically delivered via oral, transdermal, or injected means. They usually follow simple first-order drug release kinetics which may pose a significant risk of either undesirable toxicity (overdosing) due to initial concentration peaks arising from burst release or loss of efficacy (underdosing) because of subsequent rapid drug concentration decline below the therapeutic range. Hence it is of great interest to pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, patients and healthcare organizations to achieve a sustained drug release, ultimately reducing toxicity and increasing efficacy. For example, it has been found that 20 to 40 micro-gram doses of human parathyroid hormone fragment (1-34) [hPTH(1-34)] administered daily for up to two years have resulted in a decrease in the incidence of fractures associated with osteoporosis.

Thanks to rapid advances in microfabrication, RF technology and materials science, implantable drug delivery (IDD) has become very appealing for many types of drug and for treating many chronic diseases. The global market for IDD was worth £9.5 billion in 2015. It is projected that the market size for IDD will increase exponentially over the next decade. IDD offers several unique advantages: i) it localizes the drug delivery, maximizing the efficacy-dose relationship; ii) it reduces toxicity and leads to fewer side effects; iii) it supports the controlled administration of a therapeutic dose at a desirable rate of delivery; and iv) it improves patient compliance by eliminating the chances of missing or erring in a dose.

An IDD device can be classified as either passive or active, depending on whether there is a permanent power source on the device. Passive IDD devices are simple, but lack qantitative feedback from the implant to the external unit after implantation. Thanks to the on-board battery, active devices have higher device intelligence than passive devices. Many active IDD can continuously monitor the drug dosage and send the information wirelessly to an external reader. However, existing sensors in active IDD devices usually require a dedicated readout circuit with the sensor inside the implant, increasing the total size, cost and power consumption of the device.

The proposed technology is similar to the RFID technology for which an external reader interrogates a passive LC resonator sensing tag, wirelessly acquiring the information from the sensor. It requires no battery and is not limited by the types of drug or media surround the drug.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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