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Drug Delivery Technology

Slow-Release Microchip May See Off Pills

20 years, 4 months ago

9508  0
Posted on Dec 07, 2003, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A drug-containing implantable microchip could mean that patients will no longer have to worry about forgetting to take their medication. The microchip, which is just a touch over one centimeter in length, contains hundreds of small grooves that can be filled with drugs. The chip is then coated with different types of polymer that biodegrade at different rates, thus meaning that the chip can be loaded with several different drugs.

A drug-containing implantable microchip could mean that patients will no longer have to worry about forgetting to take their medication. The microchip, which is just a touch over one centimeter in length, contains hundreds of small grooves that can be filled with drugs. The chip is then coated with different types of polymer that biodegrade at different rates, thus meaning that the chip can be loaded with several different drugs. The researchers say that the chip would be useful for patients who have to take a cocktail of different drugs at set times each day, for example AIDS patients, or dementia patients who may forget to take their drugs. At present the chip has only been tested in the laboratory on the anti-clotting drug heparin, results from that study showed that one chip can work for up to 140 days. If tests with other drugs are as successful the researchers expect clinical trials of the microchip to begin in the near future.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 19th October 2003.

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