It’s a pill that delivers drugs to your stomach. It’s smart, so it knows when it gets there. It’s called the PillCam and it’s been used to diagnose stomach problems in over 100,000 patients. But now the makers of the PillCam have a new idea: the smart pill could learn to deliver drugs too.
The idea is simple, you swallow the PillCam along with some medicine. Then you only need to take another pill if you want more medicine. This would be particularly useful for people who are afraid of needles or don’t want to keep taking pills all day long.
Of course, that won’t be easy. People already take pills that release drugs in your stomach over time and let you refill them as needed, but those pills use a solid form of medication and deliver it all at once. The PillCam would have to carry liquid medication and deliver small doses over time. But if they can figure out how to do that, they could make life easier for millions of people living with conditions like diabetes or pain management issues who have to take injections every day just to stay out of the hospital.
MIT researchers have designed a pill that can deliver drugs to your stomach after you swallow it, no water needed. It could be used to treat diseases such as diabetes and Crohn’s disease.
The capsule is about the size of a blueberry, and it includes a tiny needle made of freeze-dried insulin. Once the pill hits your stomach, the moisture in your body causes a gel surrounding the needle to dissolve, freeing the needle so it can inject itself into the stomach lining. A band at the end of the needle prevents it from going too deep and causing internal bleeding, while a coating on the needle makes it resistant to corrosion.
The idea behind this smart pill is that swallowing pills that require water can be challenging for some patients, such as elderly people who may have difficulty swallowing or people with Crohn’s disease, who are often not able to retain ingested water in their bodies. The new capsule could help them take their medication without worrying about getting enough water with it.
The researchers did tests using pig tissue and found that the pill allowed them to deliver insulin into the animals’ stomach linings approximately 2 minutes after they swallowed it.
A pill that can deliver drugs to the stomach with an electronic trigger has been developed by scientists.
The research, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, has been described as a “key advance” in drug delivery.
The team at MIT said the device had successfully released drugs in pigs and a live mouse.
Experts said it could lead to a new generation of smart pills for patients.
The capsule, which is the size of a large vitamin pill, is made up of a tiny reservoir filled with drugs attached to an antenna.
When an electromagnetic signal is applied from outside the body, it creates heat which melts thin wires surrounding the reservoir, triggering a spring which pushes out the drug.
A new smart pill that releases drugs or monitors the stomach’s environment has been created by microengineers at the University of California, Berkeley.
The microdevice consists of a capsule with several compartments that can be opened in response to different stimuli. Researchers say it could deliver drugs in a more targeted way than previous devices, which have been made to release drugs on their passage through the stomach but cannot respond to events inside it.
The team behind the device describe it as a “micro-robot” because it is able to carry out multiple tasks autonomously. It could also monitor conditions such as pH levels in the gut and send information to doctors, for example about whether drugs are being properly absorbed by the body.
While digesting food, the stomach produces acids that have a pH level of less than three. The researchers designed compartments within the pill that open when they come into contact with this level of acidity. The capsule can also be made to respond to other stimuli, such as temperature, light or magnetic fields.
Scientists at MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital have devised a way to make pills that can deliver drugs right to the stomach of their recipients.
Each pill contains a tiny needle made out of freeze-dried insulin, which is coated with a special layer of material designed to dissolve in the stomach. Once it dissolves, the needle injects the drug into the stomach lining itself.
The pill was tested in pigs, which have stomach linings that are similar to humans’. The researchers found that they could use this method to deliver insulin to pigs’ bloodstreams — something that can be very difficult in people with diabetes.
It’s one of those technologies — like self-driving cars — that seems almost too good to be true.
A group of researchers at MIT has developed a new capsule that may one day be able to deliver drugs directly to the stomach. The team, led by Giovanni Traverso, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and a research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, describes its work in this week’s issue of the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
In recent years, there have been several attempts to develop ingestible devices that can deliver drugs or perform other treatments inside the gastrointestinal tract, but previous devices would either fail to stay intact as they passed through the stomach or release their payloads too quickly. These problems are particularly acute for cancer-fighting drugs, which are often relatively toxic and should only be delivered to specific types of cells for short periods of time.
To get around this problem, Traverso and his colleagues developed a small capsule outfitted with microscopic needles made from compressed insulin that can attach to the lining of the stomach and release a drug over an extended period of time. The device makes use of a natural protein called gastric-releasing factor (GRF), which is secreted by cells in the lining of the small intestine during digestion. GRF binds to receptors on nearby cells in the stomach lining and stimulates them to secrete acid,
Can drugs be delivered on demand? That is the promise of a new smart pill, created by a team led by Giovanni Traverso, a visiting scholar at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The pill can stay in the stomach for months, and is activated by remote control to release drugs at will.
The team, which also includes researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, published its results in a recent issue of the journal Science.
Drug delivery is usually accomplished with capsules that dissolve after they reach the stomach. But sometimes this isn’t good enough. Some drugs are absorbed too quickly or too slowly, or they cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach. The new pill solves these problems by letting doctors program when it will dissolve. It also has an onboard power source: a battery that runs on stomach acid.