Microdosing for drug delivery application - A review
There is an increasing amount of research on microfluidic actuators with the aim to improve drug dosing applications. Micropumps are promising as they reduce the size and energy consumption of dosing concepts and enable new therapies. Even though there are evident advantages, there are only few examples of industrial microdosing units and micropump technology has not yet found widespread application. To answer the evoked question of what limits the application of microdosing technology for drug delivery, this work provides a comprehensive insight into the subject of drug dosing. We highlight and analyse specific microfluidic challenges and requirements in medical dosing: safety relevant aspects, such as prevention of freeflow and backflow; dosing-specific requirements, such as dosing precision and stability; and system-specific aspects, such as size, weight, and power restrictions or economic aspects. Based on these requirements, we evaluate the suitability of different mechanical micropumps and actuation mechanisms for drug administration. In addition to research work, we present industrial microdosing systems that are commercially available or close to market release. We then summarize outstanding technical solutions that ensure sufficient fluidic performance, guarantee a safe use, and fulfil the specific requirements of medical microdosing.