COULD THAT IMPLANTS DELIVERED BY THE APP REPLACE DAILY PILLS?
The original pacemaker was invented sixty years ago, and today’s electrical implants are nothing like the first pacemaker. They are now far smaller and have a significantly longer battery life, as well as being significantly more adaptable. Small active implants are currently being used to cure incontinence, improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and decrease pain in various regions of the body.
In the future, electronic implants may be used to dispense drugs at the touch of a button, replacing daily pills. By developing a polymer that uses electrical signals to release chemicals, scientists have come to a step closer to remote-controlled’ drugs. It might be used to create futuristic implants that deliver drug doses at regular times, eliminating the need for patients to remember to take their tablets.
Could implants that deliver drugs by app replace daily pills? According to research, around half of people do not take their drugs as prescribed, putting their health in danger because they are reluctant or unable to stick to the dosage plan.
An implant, rather than a pill, would administer a medicine to a specific portion of the body. With pills, the medicine can impact other sections of the body, resulting in undesirable side effects. A prototype might be available within a year, according to the researchers. It might be as little as a millimeter in size and controlled by a smartphone app.
The novel substance is a polymer surface that shifts from retaining to releasing molecules when prompted by a simple electrical pulse.
‘You can understand a doctor, or a computer program, assessing the need for a new dose of medicine in a victim, and a remote-controlled signal activating the discharge of the drug from the implant located in the very tissue or organ where it’s needed,’ said Gustav Ferrand-Drake del Castillo, lead author of a study on the material from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Because the polymer on the electrode’s surface is fairly thin, it can react to a very minor electrochemical pulse, the implant only compels a simple percentage of electricity.
Researchers further claim that if it were utilized in the digestive system, it would be able to cope with fluctuations in acidity. Many researchers are working on similar implantable drug delivery systems that are believed to benefit people with illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis by targeting pain in specific regions.
‘Being able to manage the release and uptake of proteins in the body with few surgical operations and injections is a unique and useful capability,’ said Mr. Ferrand-Drake del Castillo. The research, which was published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, comes at a time when a team at Stanford University is developing fingertip-sized robots that can crawl, spin, and swim to reach small areas in the body and distribute medications.
Researchers have also investigated slowly releasing medications via microchips that may be managed remotely by a doctor and used to treat osteoporosis.