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article imageWireless controlled ingestible capsule created

By Tim Sandle     Dec 14, 2018 in Health
Boston - Medical technologists have constructed an electronic pill that can relay diagnostic information and release drugs in response to smartphone commands. This is to collect patient information or to allow for the controlled release of a drug.
The ingestible capsule, which has been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, can be controlled using conventional Bluetooth wireless technology. The capsule has a range of functions. It can be customized to deliver drugs, or it can sense environmental conditions, or it is capable of operating a combination of those functions.
The capsule has been developed, using 3D printing technology, so that it can reside in the stomach for around four weeks before the acid in the stomach eventually decays the capsule. Over this month-long period the capsule will continue transmitting information remotely and also respond to commands issued from the smartphone of a medic. In terms of sensors, the capsules are equipped to monitor the gastric environment and can provide valuable data about a disease or to assess the effectiveness of a medication.
In terms of the release of drugs, the capsule is offered as an alternative to medicines that need to be injected. The process not only provides an alternative to those who detest needles, it also provides a mechanism whereby drugs are delivered with a greater degree of accuracy to the intended target site. Furthermore, the process assists with those who require strict dosing regimes and avoids the patient forgetting to take their medication.
To enable the slow release of a medication over time, the drugs can be packaged within polymers and placed into the capsule. This enables the drugs to be released gradually over the course of several days.
The chief developer, Giovanni Traverso states: "Our system could provide closed-loop monitoring and treatment, whereby a signal can help guide the delivery of a drug or tuning the dose of a drug."
He adds: "We're really excited about the potential for gastric resident electronics to serve as platforms for mobile health to help patients remotely."
The capsule has been described in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies. The research paper is titled "3D‐Printed Gastric Resident Electronics."
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