Miniaturization of devices to micrometer and nanometer scales, combined with the use of biocompatible and functional materials, has created new opportunities for the implementation of drug delivery systems. Advances in biomedical microdevices for controlled drug delivery platforms promise a new generation of capabilities for the treatment of acute conditions and chronic illnesses, which require high adherence to treatment, in which temporal control over the pharmacokinetic profiles is critical. In addition, clinical conditions that require a combination of drugs with specific pharmacodynamic profiles and local delivery will benefit from drug delivery microdevices. This review provides a summary of various clinical applications for state-of-the-art controlled drug delivery microdevices, including cancer, endocrine and ocular disorders, and acute conditions such as hemorrhagic shock. Regulatory considerations for clinical translation of drug delivery microdevices are also discussed. Drug delivery microdevices promise a remarkable gain in clinical outcomes and a substantial social impact. A review of articles covering the field of microdevices for drug delivery was performed between January 1, 1990, and January 1, 2014, using PubMed as a search engine.
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