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Making Polymers That Self-Destruct: Layers break apart in controlled way

Scientists in Japan have created a polymer film that can chew itself apart, making it a candidate for the controlled delivery of therapeutic drugs.

A major thrust of modern medicinal research is to regulate the release of drugs from pills and biomedical implants so that the therapeutic molecules are liberated over a long period or target selected organs. One of the first steps in developing these drug-delivery methods is the design of materials that can discharge molecules at desired rates. The new multilayer film created at Japan's Kagoshima University might ultimately serve that purpose, says team member Takeshi Serizawa.

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