A team of scientists has created a new way to enable patients to take their medicines though a tiny microchip that would be embedded in the body.
The microchip, which could be controlled by the doctors remotely through a wireless connection, took more than a decade to build. The team used the drug chip instead of daily injections to deliver bone-strengthening hormones to women who were suffering from advanced osteoporosis
The scientists reported in a meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver on Thursday that the chips were safely removed from the patient's body after four months.
Robert Langer, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT and senior author of the study said, "This is the kind of thing you see in 'Star Trek'." Defibrillators and other implantable electronic devices are controlled by radio waves that are under a special medial frequency. However, instead of delivering electronic signal, the chip delivers chemicals to the body.
The mechanism could be used for treating conditions like pain, infertility, multiple sclerosis and perhaps even diabetes. They would also eliminate the need for needles and would also allow patients to regularly follow drug regimens.
The study was published online on Thursday by the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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