A new object designed by MIT researchers could very well revolutionize the way patients handle their medication regime. The team of medical researchers developed a star capsule that can potentially deliver 2-week worth of medication.
A team comprising of medical specialists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has created a device that can potentially save a lot of lives. The revolutionary star-shaped devices is actually a medical apparatus that delivers medication into our bodies.
According to the team, the device was specifically created in order to assist patients struggling with long-term diseases such as Alzheimer’s or malaria. Since both medical conditions require the patient to adhere to a strict drug regime, some difficulties may arise.
More specifically, the patient must take his medication each day. While some of them simply forget to take his pill, some of the patients willingly forget to take their medication. On short-term it’s not problematic, but, as the creators of the star capsule explained, these omissions might hamper the physician’s attempt to treat the condition.
So, out of the desire to help their patients cope with their strict medication regime, a group of scientists from the two institutions developed a star-shaped capsule that will help deliver medication more efficiently.
Dr. Giovanni Traverso, one of the device’s creators, said that the capsule’s shape was not incidental. Apart from being able to hold the right amount of medication, the capsule must be resistant to gastric acid and be able to release the medication at the right moment.
In previous attempts, the scientists experimented with a hexagonal capsule, but to no avail. But it would seem that the star-shaped form is optimal for drug dispersal and offers increased gastric stability.
This is how the new star capsule works. The star-shaped drug delivery system is placed inside a regular capsule. After the patient swallows the pill, it travels all the way to the stomach where the acid starts to dissolve the outer layer.
Once the outer layer is dissolved, the medical device unfolds and starts dispersing the drug or drugs. According to the scientists working on the project, this type of medical device has a life-expectancy of two weeks.
Clinical trials performed on domestic pigs shows that the device performs according to expectations. As a result, the team is confident that human testing will start at the beginning of January 2017.
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