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Drug Microchip

February 28, 2012

An implantable microchip can deliver drugs one day at a time for at least a year.



An implantable drug dispenser.  I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

In the future, a microchip in your body could dispense drugs one dose at a time.  MIT material scientist Michael Cima and his colleagues tried it with a drug that treats osteoporosis.  Rather than get daily injections for a year, patients were implanted with a single chip.  The chip is dotted with tiny reservoirs.

MICHAEL CIMA (Massachusetts Institute of Technology):

Each one is covered by a metal membrane, and inside is an individual dose of the drug.

An microprocessor controls when the membranes open, and failsafes prevent missed doses and overdoses.  Cima’s team found that the drugs worked just as well from a chip as from a needle, even though the body naturally forms a membrane around the chip over time.  The chip could be used to deliver other drugs as well, but only highly potent ones that come in tiny doses.  I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.