Drug-Eluting Rubber Bands for Tissue Ligation

Ron Feiner, Eleanor Johns, Merav Antman-Passig, Takeshi Irie, Naxhije Berisha, Hadas Oved, Doha Khan, Lukasz Witek, Richard M. White, Daniel A. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rubber band ligation is a commonly used method for the removal of tissue abnormalities. Most often, rubber band ligation is performed to remove internal hemorrhoids unresponsive to first line treatments to avoid surgery. While the procedure is considered safe, patients experience mild to significant pain and discomfort until the tissue sloughs off. As patients often require multiple bandings and sessions, reducing these side effects can have a considerable effect on patient adherence and quality of life. To reduce pain and discomfort, we developed drug-eluting rubber bands for ligation procedures. We investigated the potential for a band to elute anesthetics and drug combinations to durably manage pain for a period of up to 5 days while exhibiting similar mechanical properties to conventional rubber bands. We show that the rubber bands retain their mechanical properties despite significant drug loading. Lidocaine, released from the bands, successfully altered the calcium dynamics of cardiomyocytes in vitro and modulated heart rate in zebrafish embryos, while the bands exhibited lower cytotoxicity than conventional bands. Ex vivo studies demonstrated substantial local drug release in enteric tissues. These latex-free bands exhibited sufficient mechanical and drug-eluting properties to serve both ligation and local analgesic functions, potentially enabling pain reduction for multiple indications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27675-27685
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 22 2022


  • controlled release
  • drug delivery
  • drug release
  • elastomer
  • hemorrhoids
  • pain management
  • rubber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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