Can Hydrogel Crystals be used as a Drug Delivery System?
Difficulty of Project
$18.00 - Excluding the cost of the Tri-fold cardboard display board
Investigator should not ingest the crystals or drink the liquids associated with the activity. The crystals used in the project are extremely slippery when spilled. Never flush or pour these crystals down the drain, crystal swelling could possibly clog drainpipes. Leave to brew overnight. Also, care should be exercised when handling the hot water and the hot tea brew that will be used in this project.
The supervising adult should discuss the warnings and safety information with the child or children before commencing the activity.
The materials required for this project are readily available and inexpensive.
Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project
1½ hours to complete the activity once the materials are secured and setup. Also between 1 and 2 hours to prepare the Tri-fold board display.
A drug delivery system is a medium or carrier of drugs and medicines to where they are needed in a patient's body. Medical researchers are currently exploring if it is possible to use hydrogel crystals as possible delivery systems. The research aspect of this science fair project is to determine which of two chemical agents can be used to release the drug (tea) from hydrogel crystals.
Materials and Equipment / Ingredients
Hydrogel superabsorbent crystals, several tea bags, a bag of 8 oz clear plastic cups, table sugar, table salt, sieve (the plastic ones used for sifting flour), distilled water, plastic table spoons, tea pot, measuring cup, and paper towels. With the possible exception of the crystals, all the other items can be purchased from the local supermarket and garden supply store. Also, a Tri-fold cardboard display board can be purchased from an art & crafts supply store.
The hydrogel crystals can be purchased either locally from a garden supply store or online. Fortunately the price has been coming down. Science in A Bag charges $10 plus free shipping for a pack of these crystals. They also may be ordered from www.teacherssource.com, or Nasco Science.