Oral administration microrobots for drug delivery

Bioact Mater. 2024 May 21:39:163-190. doi: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2024.05.005. eCollection 2024 Sep.


Oral administration is the most simple, noninvasive, convenient treatment. With the increasing demands on the targeted drug delivery, the traditional oral treatment now is facing some challenges: 1) biologics how to implement the oral treatment and ensure the bioavailability is not lower than the subcutaneous injections; 2) How to achieve targeted therapy of some drugs in the gastrointestinal tract? Based on these two issues, drug delivery microrobots have shown great application prospect in oral drug delivery due to their characteristics of flexible locomotion or driven ability. Therefore, this paper summarizes various drug delivery microrobots developed in recent years and divides them into four categories according to different driving modes: magnetic-controlled drug delivery microrobots, anchored drug delivery microrobots, self-propelled drug delivery microrobots and biohybrid drug delivery microrobots. As oral drug delivery microrobots involve disciplines such as materials science, mechanical engineering, medicine, and control systems, this paper begins by introducing the gastrointestinal barriers that oral drug delivery must overcome. Subsequently, it provides an overview of typical materials involved in the design process of oral drug delivery microrobots. To enhance readers' understanding of the working principles and design process of oral drug delivery microrobots, we present a guideline for designing such microrobots. Furthermore, the current development status of various types of oral drug delivery microrobots is reviewed, summarizing their respective advantages and limitations. Finally, considering the significant concerns regarding safety and clinical translation, we discuss the challenges and prospections of clinical translation for various oral drug delivery microrobots presented in this paper, providing corresponding suggestions for addressing some existing challenges.

Keywords: Biologics; Drug delivery; Gastrointestinal tract; Microrobots; Oral administration.

Publication types

  • Review