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Many cardiac diseases, such as arrhythmia or cardiogenic shock, cause irregular beating patterns that must be regulated to prevent disease progression towards heart failure. Treatments can include invasive surgery or high systemic drug dosages, which lack precision, localization, and control. Drug delivery systems (DDSs) that can deliver cargo to the cardiac injury site could address these unmet clinical challenges. Here, we present a microrobotic DDS that can be mobilized to specific sites via magnetic control. Our DDS incorporates an internal chamber that can protect drug cargo. Furthermore, the DDS contains a tunable thermosensitive sealing layer that gradually degrades upon exposure to body temperature, enabling prolonged drug release. Once loaded with the small molecule drug norepinephrine, our microrobotic DDS modulated beating frequency in induced pluripotent stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) in a dose-dependent manner, thus simulating drug delivery to cardiac cells in vitro. The DDS also navigated several maze-like structures seeded with cardiomyocytes to demonstrate precise locomotion under a rotating low-intensity magnetic field and on-site drug delivery. This work demonstrates the utility of a magnetically actuating DDS for precise, localized, and controlled drug delivery which is of interest for a myriad of future opportunities such as in treating cardiac diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Adv Healthc Mater

Publication Date



cardiac arrhythmias, fillable microrobots, magnetic actuation, phase‐change materials, stimuli‐responsive drug delivery