Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

Engineering a Drug-Delivery Device: This Activity Integrates Technology (Biomedical Engineering) and Science, for Students in Grades 5 to 12

Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

Engineering a Drug-Delivery Device: This Activity Integrates Technology (Biomedical Engineering) and Science, for Students in Grades 5 to 12

Article excerpt

What is drug delivery? Briefly, drug delivery is a method used to administer medication to a source. In most cases this source is humans or animals. When people get sick, they take medicine to get better. Medicine comes in all forms and sizes, such as pills, liquids, or powders. Most of these medications are administered orally. Once the medicine is in the body's system, it makes people feel better. The objective of this activity is (1) to familiarize students with the current methods of drug delivery, and (2) to improve upon current systems and stimulate creativity and design ability toward improvements on current methods.

Challenge

The challenge here is for students to design and create a more useful and effective drug-delivery device. Properties to focus on are the encasing (i.e. capsule, powder, spray bottle) of the drug to be administered and the method of its delivery (i.e. orally, through the nose, etc.). Students should focus on material to use for the encasing of the drug and direct their efforts toward creating a method for administering their drug. This design activity will challenge the students' creativity and critical and analytical skills. There is a lot of imagination and creativity involved in this activity, and an introduction to drug delivery and current methods would be useful for the design and implementation of the drug-delivery system.

Materials and Equipment

Students should be encouraged to bring household items, as they are going to create makeshift systems that represent their drug-delivery method. It is useful to have a number of devices that can represent current drug-delivery methods, such as dispensers, capsules, etc. It is important for the students to have visual aids to help guide them through the design and development of a drug-delivery system. Materials necessary are the following: glue, tape, styrofoam, paints, sponges, various plastic type materials, glitter, and other decorative items.

Procedure

Students should work in groups, as it creates a positive stimulating environment for them to freely share their ideas. The first task is to introduce the students to the various methods of drug delivery. Currently, there are a number of ways drugs are delivered, such as pills with time-release mechanisms, allowing the drug to take effect for a longer time in the human body. …

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