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Jan 18

No more shots: New magnetic pill system

Posted by: jfrancis in Medical Tests


If you had the option of getting a pill or a shot when visiting the doctshot vs. pillor many of us would ask for the pill hands down. It's quick, simple, and a lot less painful. Unfortunately many of us do not have this option because of the fact that pills, along with other orally administered medications, do not dissolve at the exact location in the gastrointestinal tract needed that would allow it to be absorbed into the blood stream. Thanks to researches at Brown University this may soon change because of their new magnetic pill system.

This harmless system works by holding a pill in place inside the intestines wherever it needs to be. It is believed that this new breakthrough could allow a whole new way to deliver drugs to patients, including those with cancer and diabetes. This system can also allow scientists to understand where in the intestines different drugs are best absorbed.

So far the magnetic pill system has only been tested on rats, but progress to larger animals is on the way. How this system works relies on two key components. An ordinary looking gel capsule containing a tiny magnet and an external magnet that can sense the force between it and the capsule and alter that force as necessary to pull the pill as needed. And because the pill is detectable by x-rays, the researchers have been able to track the pill as it passed through the rats.

This is the first magnetic pill system whose force can be controlled by scientists, making it safe to use in the body. The amount of force used is key because even just a little too much force can pull the pill too much and cause serious damage to the tissue. Fortunately the researchers have developed an and external magnet system with a sophisticated computer control and feedback mechanism, allowing the device to set an accurate range of force that allows the magnet to pull the pill without using too much force. In one test the magnet was able to hold the pill in place inside a rat for 12 hours applying pressure on the intestinal walls less than 1/60th of what would be damaging.

Now with the magnetic force range set, scientists are now moving on to delivering drugs using the system and testing their absorption. According to lead author and former graduate student Bryan Laulicht, it is his hope that this new system will be used to enable oral drug delivery solutions to previously unmet medical needs. Based on the research and success so far it is easy to say they are well on their way to accomplishing this goal.


Comments (2)Add Comment
written by hwinzen, Wednesday, 05:04 AM, January 19, 2011
Interesting article. smilies/smiley.gif
written by Cathy, Monday, 02:22 PM, January 24, 2011
Wow, this is a pretty good system, which will help me away from injuction. you know, I hate that very very much. that's really hurt.smilies/angry.gif

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