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i3D: intraocular drug-delivery device

Bioresorbable devicesDrug Delivery SystemsIPA21MagnesiumModular drug administrationOcular diseases


i3D is an injectable and bioabsorbable drug-delivery device. Thanks to the controlled corrosion of its magnesium-based structure, i3D is able to release drug doses, preloaded into the device, at preset times, increasing the effectiveness of treatments and the adherence of chronic patients to therapies.

Its first application is the ophthalmological field, given the absence of suitable devices and the difficulty of delivering drugs in such a district, but it can be used as a vehicle for several active principles also for subcutaneous or intraoperative applications.

MgShell Srl, spin-off from Politecnico di Milano, is developing and testing the patented device.

Technical features

i3D is a drug-delivery bioabsorbable device. It consists of concentric magnesium-based elements that are able to control the modality and timing of release of doses of the active principle, pre-loaded into the device. Once injected into the vitreous chamber, the device is able to administer the contained drug doses according to the patient’s treatment needs and the peculiarity of the active principle itself. The magnesium-based elements that contain the drug doses are eroded by the ocular movements, inducing the drug release: by engineering the thickness of these elements and the constitutive biomaterial, the device is able to release the single doses at pre-established times, in accordance with the therapeutic needs, in a completely autonomous way, since the system does not require any type of external activation. Once the therapeutic function has been completed, the device is completely reabsorbed without toxicity by the human body since the corrosion products of magnesium are well tolerated. This is an important advantage with respect to the polymeric devices of some competitors. i3D allows at least a 3 time reduction of the number of intravitreal injections with respect to the standard therapy.

Possible Applications

  • Biomedical and pharmaceutical fields;
  • Treatment of retinal and ocular posterior segment diseases;
  • Treatment of age-related macular degeneration (exudative form, first cause of blindness worldwide);
  • Treatment of any kind of chronic disease which needs a by-dose drug release at preset times.


  • Injectable;
  • Biocompatible;
  • Bioresorbable;
  • Preset and autonomous release;
  • Highly modular;
  • High scalability on different clinical applications.