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Advanced Pill that may Replace Injections

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 09:31AM
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Some people hate needles tremendously, which can make delivering some medications very difficult. Ideally a patient could just be given the medication as a pill to swallow, but not all drugs can survive the digestion system and enter the bloodstream. Researchers at MIT however have developed a new pill design that circumvents the issues by injecting the medication through the GI tract.

Chemicals like insulin, vaccines, recombinant DNA, and RNA are part of a class of drugs called 'biologics' which are so large they are nonabsorbable, but even before they would be, the acids and enzymes in a patients GI tract would degrade them. To get around this the researchers have created a pill roughly two centimeters by one centimeter in size, covered with small needles. That may not sound much better than a traditional needle, but the GI tract has no pain receptors and the whole thing is too small to be a danger. By just filling the pill with the appropriate drug, it could be administered to a patient without any pain.

So far the researchers have tested the pill with insulin in pigs. It took about a week to pass through the pigs and the body received it well. Those pigs that were given the pill were also affected more by the insulin than those that received it by injection, suggesting this method may be a more efficient delivery system.

 

 

Source: MIT



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