Electrokinetic infusions into hydrogels and brain tissue: Control of direction and magnitude of solute delivery

Amir H. Faraji, Andrea S. Jaquins-Gerstl, Alec C. Valenta, Stephen G. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Delivering solutes to a particular region of the brain is currently achieved by iontophoresis for very small volumes and by diffusion from a microdialysis probe for larger volumes. There is a need to deliver solutes to particular areas with more control than is possible with existing methods. New Method: Electrokinetic infusions of solutes were performed into hydrogels and organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. Application of an electrical current creates electroosmotic flow and electrophoresis of a dicationic fluorescent solute through organotypic hippocampal tissue cultures or larger hydrogels. Transport was recorded with fluorescence microscopy imaging in real-time. Results: Electrokinetic transport in brain tissue slice cultures and hydrogels occurs along an electrical current path and allows for anisotropic delivery over distances from several hundred micrometers to millimeters. Directional transport may be controlled by altering the current path. The applied electrical current linearly affects the measured solute fluorescence in our model system following infusions. Comparison with Existing Methods: Localized drug delivery involves iontophoresis, with diffusion primarily occurring beyond infusion capillaries under current protocols. Pressure-driven infusions for intraparenchymal targets have also been conducted. Superfusion across a tissue surface provides modest penetration, however is unable to impact deeper targets. In general, control over intraparenchymal drug delivery has been difficult to achieve. Electrokinetic transport provides an alternative to deliver solutes along an electrical current path in tissue. Conclusions: Electrokinetic transport may be applied to living systems for molecular transport. It may be used to improve upon the control of solute delivery over that of pressure-driven transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Drug delivery
  • Electrokinetic transport
  • Electroosmosis
  • Iontophoresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrokinetic infusions into hydrogels and brain tissue: Control of direction and magnitude of solute delivery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this