Controlled and targeted drug delivery systems have gained a lot of interest as they offer numerous benefits such as precise dosing, reduced side-effects and increased patient compliance. We have designed a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) drug delivery device that is capable of releasing drugs in a controlled and programmable manner. This self-powered device does not require any external stimulation or control to achieve pulsatile release of drugs. The device consists of multiple reservoirs containing the drug embedded together with a water-swellable polymer. The swelling of the polymer upon contact with water and the resulting pressure generated is used as an actuation mechanism to release drugs from each reservoir. The programmable release of the drug from the device is achieved by controlling the diffusion rate of water from the surrounding environment into each reservoir. The drug is released from the reservoir when the swellable polymer absorbs water from the environment and generates enough pressure to break an overlying rupturable membrane. We have demonstrated that controlled and pulsatile drug delivery can be achieved using this delivery device, without any external power or control.

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