The purpose of this research is to develop biodegradable drug delivery systems. One of the delivery systems that we have developed is a suture-like structure for the treatment of Crohn’s disease that utilizes a biodegradable polymer, poly(DL-lactideco-glycolide) acid (PLGA). Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel condition. Aside from the gut involvement, perianal complications develop in the form of enterocutaneous fistulas. Medical management of Crohn’s disease consists of various drugs with immunosuppressive properties. Complicated disease manifestation requires surgical interventions in the form of bowel resection or fistula drainage with Setons. Setons are suture-like devices that help to drain associated abscesses and close secondary fistulous tracts. They are often removed prematurely to prevent entrapment as the proximal and distal ends of the fistula heal. In their current form, Setons are not degradable and are not able to deliver drugs. Thus, the patients typically receive their drugs systemically.
"The Study of PLGA Drug Delivery Systems: Implications for Management of Crohn’s Disease,"
Vol. 5, Article 11.
Available at: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/kaleidoscope/vol5/iss1/11