Implantable drug delivery systems and foreign body reaction: traversing the current clinical landscape

Alexey Fayzullin, Alesia Bakulina, Karen Mikaelyan, Anatoly Shekhter, Anna Guller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


Precise delivery of therapeutics to the target structures is essential for treatment efficiency and safety. Drug administration via conventional routes requires overcoming multiple transport barriers to achieve and maintain the local drug concentration and commonly results in unwanted off-target effects. Patients’ compliance with the treatment schedule remains another challenge. Implantable drug delivery systems (IDDSs) provide a way to solve these problems. IDDSs are bioengineering devices surgically placed inside the patient’s tissues to avoid first-pass metabolism and reduce the systemic toxicity of the drug by eluting the therapeutic payload in the vicinity of the target tissues. IDDSs present an impressive example of successful translation of the research and engineering findings to the patient’s bedside. It is envisaged that the IDDS technologies will grow exponentially in the coming years. However, to pave the way for this progress, it is essential to learn lessons from the past and present of IDDSs clinical applications. The efficiency and safety of the drug-eluting implants depend on the interactions between the device and the hosting tissues. In this review, we address this need and analyze the clinical landscape of the FDA-approved IDDSs applications in the context of the foreign body reaction, a key aspect of implant–tissue integration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • implantable drug delivery systems
  • foreign body reaction
  • peri-implantitis
  • fibrosis
  • Scarring
  • clinical applications
  • translation
  • drug repurposing


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