Leah Johnson, PhD, discusses the biomedical HIV prevention implant that is being developed by RTI International.
Leah Johnson, PhD, Senior Research Chemist, Discovery, Sciences & Technology (DST), RTI International, USA, discusses the biomedical HIV prevention implant that is being developed by RTI International.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“The implant the we are developing at RTI is unique in a certain way in that it is biodegradable. As the drug is depleted from the implant, it remains in place and intact. But then after that drug is delivered and depleted, the device is designed to degrade over time so that the end-user does not need to go back into the clinic to get that implant removed.
There are certain polymers that we consider to be biodegradable. Over time, water in the body that is around that implant, around that polymer, will degrade that polymer slowly away in a process called ester hydrolysis. One of the polymers that we are using for this implant is called polycaprolactone. It contains ester groups in the backbone of that polymer that can undergo ester hydrolysis over time to degrade it away. It is a very biocompatible polymer that’s been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, for example, for certain applications.”