Stephanie Khaguli

Stephanie  Khaguli
Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Giovanni Traverso
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Research: Medical Devices
Years: 2022-2023
Research Project Title:

Bioresorbable Osmotic Pump for Long-Term Contraception

abstract:A key social issue facing several communities, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the need for effective means of contraception for family planning. Current commercial implants suffer from inconsistent drug release, surgical removal, and long pharmacokinetic tails, which inhibit patients' return to fertility. This project seeks to develop an alternative means of implant drug delivery based on the osmotic pump system. The high osmolality of the osmotic engine causes water flux into the pump through a semi-permeable membrane, and the increased internal pressure from the expansion pushes out the drug formulation. The setup allows for long-term & consistent drug delivery, avoids surgical removal, with immediate cessation of drug release upon completion of osmotic swelling within the pump.

I was primarily drawn to this SuperUROP project because it touched on a key issue facing many communities in my home country of Kenya, which is effective and safe family planning and contraception. I'm excited to see the potential impact of these novel bio-medical technologies. By participating in this research project long term, I hope to bring in my past UROP experience in nanomaterials research to help actualize this inventive drug delivery mechanism.