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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Pioneering medical advances through nanofluidic implantable technologies

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Nanofluidic implantables represent a recent advance in a broad effort for developing personalized, point‐of‐care medical technologies. Such systems have unprecedented potential when matched with the newest developments in robotics, microprocessing, and tissue engineering. In this review, we present their emergence in medicine within the fields of diagnostics, biosensing, therapeutics, and theranostics. Discussion includes current limitations and future directions for these systems, as commensurate advances in power density and electronic processing are continually redefining the possible. As the research and funding attention coincide with complementary technological breakthroughs, the field is expected to grow into an advanced toolset for preserving human health. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2017, 9:e1455. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1455 This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants
(a) Rendering of a nanofluidic system fabricated via a three‐module process, with gray and blue representing silicon and silicon dioxide, respectively. Silicon is the sacrificial material to be removed for creating the nanofluidic channels. One to three show the microchannel, nanochannel, and vent‐hole modules, respectively. (Figure (a), Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2013 IBM) (b) A transmission electron microscope (TEM) image of a sacrificially etched nanochannel with a 5 nm characteristic dimension.
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Future medicine approaches enabled by nanofluidic implantables. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2016 Springer Nature).
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(a) Scanning electron microscope of a precision‐diced functional unit of a nanofluidic membrane. This was integrated as the release‐regulating component of the implant in (b). (b) A miniature implant for localized release. The device can serve as a radiofiducial and continuously samples the local fluid environment surrounding it. (c) Concept schematic of the device's subcutaneous implantation. (a and b, Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2016 American Scientific Publishers).
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(a) Concept rendering of a vascularized Nanogland created by 3D‐printing loaded with pancreatic islets. (b) Schematic of loading sequence for polymeric encapsulation device described by Nyitray et al. (c and d) Scanning electron microscope images of the micro‐ (c) and nanoporous (d) polymers experimentally utilized. (e) Photograph of the polymeric encapsulation system demonstrating its mechanical flexibility. (b–e, Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2015 Royal Society of Chemistry)
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(a) Render of a next‐generation, nanofluidic implantable system capable of active controlled delivery. (b and c) Illustration of how ion concentration polarization (ICP) is employed for active control. (d) Graph of dendritic fullerene 1 release modulation over 2 days. Interruption was accomplished with both bias directions.
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(a) Multi‐reservoir, nanofluidic device incorporating magnetic relaxation switches (MRS) to enable sensing of soluble cancer biomarkers. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 38. Copyright 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology) (b) Depiction of an implantable capsule with a filtering, nanofluidic membrane capable of sampling the interstitial environment, and a western blot of interstitial fluid samples collected from rodent models.
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(a) A 8‐in wafer with nanochannel delivery system (nDS) membranes. (b) Scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of the microscopic structure of the nDS membrane. The architecture exhibiting nanochannels communicating with micro‐ and macro‐channels is evident. (c) Titania nanotube implantable delivery system concept developed by NanoPrecision Medical. (d) SEM image of a titania nanotube membrane. (a and b, Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2013 Elsevier; c and d, Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2014 NanoPrecision Medical).
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Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging
Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies
Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants

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