2016 Volume 32 Issue 12 Pages 1307-1314
Nanoparticles have been widely utilized to deliver drugs from blood vessels to target tissues. A crucial issue concerning nanoparticle-based drug delivery is to discuss the relationship between experimentally-obtained permeability and physical parameters. Although nanoparticles can permeate vascular pores, because the size and shape of the pores are essentially non-uniform, conventional animal testing and recent cell-based microfluidic devices are unable to precisely evaluate the effects of physical parameters (e.g. pore size and nanoparticle size) on permeation. In this study, we present a membrane-integrated microfluidic device to study permeation of nanoparticles through straight micropores. Porous membranes possessing uniform straight pores were utilized. The effects of pore size and pressure difference across the pores on nanoparticle permeation were examined. The experimentally determined permeability coefficient of 1.0 μm-pore membrane against 100 nm-diameter nanoparticles agreed well with the theoretical value obtained for convectional permeation. Our method can be utilized to clarify the relationship between the experimentally-obtained permeability and physical parameters, and will help rational design of nanomedicines.