Refillable Drug Delivery by Affinity Homing

Tech ID: 18-061

Inventors: Dr. Matthew Webber

Date Added: Nov. 24, 2020


A biomedical device bearing a drug which can be refilled systemically through affinity-driven homing

Technology Summary

The practice of medicine has been transformed through various devices that serve to augment or replace the function of natural tissues, enable the delivery of drugs, or facilitate the collection of data or specimens for assessment of disease state. Yet, these devices often have a common failing - inflammation, infection, or buildup of blood or scar tissue can render such devices inoperable.

To address these problems with respect to drug delivery, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed an implantable device that can be loaded with a drug (or drugs) of choice and a method for maintaining drug availability by periodically refilling the device as required. This approach enables localized drug delivery to a desired site in the body, thereby focusing the activity of potent agents to the region where needed and minimizing off-target toxicity. The localized delivery also allows for multiple drugs to be administered at once, and serial drug administration and refilling.

There are two components to this technology: a versatile receptor that marks the desired local site where drug action is required and a systemically administered agent which has affinity for this receptor to drive accumulation.

Market Advantages 

  • Uses a novel affinity mechanism - a scalable synthetic small molecule motif - which matches the affinity and specificity of biological recognition without the potential for an undesirable immune response
  • The mechanism for drug homing can be continuously regenerated, whereas state-of-the-art approaches are limited by a finite drug loading capacity.

Market Opportunities

  • Transcutaneous catheters/ports
  • Implantable medical devices
  • Oncology/chemotherapy
  • Opioid-free pain management

Technology Readiness Status

  • TRL 2 - Technology Concept and/or Application Formulated    

Intellectual Property

  • US 17/045,469



Richard Cox