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Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) afflicts an estimated 5.3 million individuals and is the sixth leading cause of death in America. The drug delivery method of interest is an orally administered sustained-release delivery system that addresses the needs of the associated patient population. By augmenting drug delivery with a higher effective payload per dose compared to current methods, drug efficacy and bioavailability would improve. This will result in a decrease of the overall cost for medication as a greater percentage of the administered drug will be viable.

This design addresses the release of AD drug from the drug delivery system at the small intestine. The design specifications are uniqueness and novelty, cost, ease of use, compatibility, toxicity, shelf life, and pH sensitivity. This design features the utilization of a pH sensitive hydrogel composed of PEGDA and PMMA-co-MMA that will encapsulate the drug through the GI tract and respond appropriately to stimuli in the small intestine to release its content in an appropriate manner. This prevents the release of drug in acidic environments like the stomach where it will be degraded. From experimental studies, the hydrogel drug delivery system was found to be effective. Drug release kinetics using fluorescent dyes indicated that the release was greatest in the pH environment that simulated that found in the small intestines whereas the release was the lowest in very acidic pH levels simulating the acidity of the stomach.

Publication Date



biomedical engineering, Alzheimer’s Disease, drug delivery


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Hu Yang

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Design of a Drug Delivery System through the Gastrointestinal Tract