Drug-eluting medical implants

Meital Zilberman*, Amir Kraitzer, Orly Grinberg, Jonathan J. Elsner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Drug-eluting medical implants are actually active implants that induce healing effects, in addition to their regular task of support. This effect is achieved by controlled release of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) into the surrounding tissue. In this chapter we focus on three types of drug-eluting devices: drug-eluting vascular stents, drug-eluting wound dressings and protein-eluting scaffolds for tissue regeneration, thus describing both internal and external implants. Each of these drug-eluting devices also presents an approach for solving the drug release issue. Most drug-eluting vascular stents are loaded with water-insoluble antiproliferative agents, and their diffusion from the device to the surrounding tissue is relatively slow. In contrast, most drug-eluting wound dressings are loaded with highly water-soluble antibacterial agents and the issue of fast release must therefore be addressed. Growth factor release from scaffolds for tissue regeneration offers a new approach of incorporating high-molecular-weight bioactive agents which are very sensitive to process conditions and preserve their activity during the preparation stage. The drug-eluting medical implants are described here in terms of matrix formats and polymers, incorporated drugs and their release profiles from the implants, and implant functioning. Basic elements, such as new composite core/shell fibers and structured films, can be used to build new antibiotic-eluting devices. As presented in this chapter, the effect of the processing parameters on the microstructure and the resulting drug release profiles, mechanical and physical properties, and other relevant properties, must be elucidated in order to achieve the desired properties. Newly developed implants and novel modifications of previously developed approaches have enhanced the tools available for creating clinically important biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDrug Delivery
Number of pages43
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
PublisherSpringer Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0171-2004


  • Composite structures
  • Drug eluting stents
  • Scaffolds
  • Stent coatings
  • Tissue regeneration
  • Wound dressings


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