Extended-release gastrointestinal (GI) luminal delivery substantially increases the ease of administration of drugs and consequently the adherence to therapeutic regimens. However, because of clearance by intrinsic GI motility, device gastroretention and extended drug release over a prolonged duration are very challenging. Here, we report that GI parasite–inspired active mechanochemical therapeutic grippers, or theragrippers, can reside within the GI tract of live animals for 24 hours by autonomously latching onto the mucosal tissue. We also observe a notable sixfold increase in the elimination half-life using theragripper-mediated delivery of a model analgesic ketorolac tromethamine. These results provide first-in-class evidence that shape-changing and self-latching microdevices enhance the efficacy of extended drug delivery.
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