Recent advances in diagnostics and medicines emphasize the spatial and temporal aspects of monitoring and treating diseases. However, conventional therapeutics, including oral administration and injection, have difficulties meeting these aspects due to physiological and technological limitations, such as long-term implantation and a narrow therapeutic window. As an innovative approach to overcome these limitations, electronic devices known as electronic drugs (e-drugs) have been developed to monitor real-time body signals and deliver specific treatments to targeted tissues or organs. For example, ingestible and patch-type e-drugs could detect changes in biomarkers at the target sites, including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the skin, and deliver therapeutics to enhance healing in a spatiotemporal manner. However, medical treatments often require invasive surgical procedures and implantation of medical equipment for either short or long-term use. Therefore, approaches that could minimize implantation-associated side effects, such as inflammation and scar tissue formation, while maintaining high functionality of e-drugs, are highly needed. Herein, the importance of the spatial and temporal aspects of medical treatment is thoroughly reviewed along with how e-drugs use cutting-edge technological innovations to deal with unresolved medical challenges. Furthermore, diverse uses of e-drugs in clinical applications and the future perspectives of e-drugs are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
C.W., C.K., and K.P. contributed equally to this work. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF‐2017M3A7B4049466) and the Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF‐2019R1A6A1A11055660). This research was also supported by the KIST Institutional Program (Project No. 2Z06430‐20‐P064). This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1C1C1006720), the Korea Medical Device Development Fund grant funded by the Korea government (the Ministry of Science and ICT) (Project Number: 2020M3E5D8103325), and (the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy) (Project Number: 20013455). This work was supported by the Korea Medical Device Development Fund grant funded by the Korea government (the Ministry of Science and ICT) (Project Number: KMDF‐202012B02‐02). This work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program(‘20013621', Center for Super Critical Material Industrial Technology) funded By the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy(MOTIE, Korea).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering