Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) made a successful breakthrough after they efficaciously accomplished the first trial of a drug-releasing microchip in humans, according to the CNN News website. This drug was designed to treat osteoporosis, which is a disease which may trigger hip replacements which DePuy continues to promote despite known problems.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes weakening of bone, and which increases the likelihood of sustaining a fracture. Osteoporosis may affect any bone in the body. The diagnosis of osteoporosis is made by measuring bone density. People who are diagnosed with osteoporosis will be treated to modify their condition in an effort to prevent fractures.
Furthermore researchers find the procedure similar to a science-fiction movie: A patient visits a doctor’s office and, after a brief surgical procedure, walks away with a microchip under her skin that delivers medication in precisely timed and measured doses. The results were published on the website of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The pacemaker-sized microchip devices, which were implanted near the waistline of seven 60-year old women in Denmark, and worked as intended releasing up to 19 daily doses of an osteoporosis drug that ordinarily requires injections. The implants assure of safety and tests were unveiled that they brought the medication as effectively as once-a-day shots.
The devices will not be ready for mainstream use for at least another four years. But the researchers say that the technology will ultimately enable people who take injection drugs for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis to swap their needles for microchips. Other drugs that could potentially be delivered in this manner include chemotherapy, fertility hormones, and vaccines, they say.
“It’s almost like ‘Star Trek,’ but now it’s coming to life,” says study coauthor Robert Langer, Jr., Sc.D., an institute professor at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Langer, a chemical engineer, came up with the idea for the drug-delivery device about 15 years ago, while watching a TV show on how microchips are made in the computer industry.
Langer and his colleagues at MIT worked on the idea throughout the 1990s, and published the first paper on their research in 1999. That same year, Langer co-founded a privately held company, MicroCHIPS, Inc., to license the technology from MIT and commercialize the device.
This breakthrough may possibly help reduce the number of patients who are suffering from osteoporosis with the hope that similar discovery can be discovered in preventing the development of ailments that triggers hip replacement which is the subject of several Pinnacle Lawsuits.