World’s First Remotely Controlled Drug Delivery Chip
Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and MicroCHIPS Inc. have developed the world’s first wirelessly controlled drug delivery microchip. They have published their findings online in the journal of Science Translational Medicine.
Researchers have implanted this microchip containing bone-building drug [hPTH(1-34)] to the eight older patients of osteoporosis in a 30 minutes office surgery. The patients were of the age of 65 to 70. Later, the drug was released, as prescribed, from the implants with the help of radio signals. The implant was successfully used to release drug for 20 days.
Doctors then analyzed the effects of drugs and found that the implant gave same effect as that produced by regular injections. Researchers have found the development of collagen layer around the implant but that didn’t affect the drugs from going to the general circulation.
"These data validate the microchip approach to multi-year drug delivery without the need for frequent injections, which can improve the management of many chronic diseases like osteoporosis where adherence to therapy is a significant problem," said study lead author Robert Farra, MicroCHIPS President and Chief Operating Officer. "We look forward to making further progress to advance our first device toward regulatory approvals, as well as developing a range of products for use in important disease areas such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and chronic pain."
"Compliance is very important in a lot of drug regimens, and it can be very difficult to get patients to accept a drug regimen where they have to give themselves injections,” says Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering at MIT. “This avoids the compliance issue completely, and points to a future where you have fully automated drug regimens."
Image: Implantable microchip of the size of an average flash memory stick (Credit: MicroCHIPS Inc.)