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MIT Develops Implantable Remotely Activated "Micro-Pharmacy"
Feb 13, 2008By: IdeaMan -
One of the major challenges when developing new drugs is how to apply them only where and when they are needed. MIT researchers have developed a new film technology that could address some of that challenge. According to MIT News, "The films are made from alternating layers of two materials: a negatively charged pigment and a positively charged drug molecule, or a neutral drug wrapped in a positively charged molecule" and are "among the first drug-delivery coatings that can be remotely activated by applying a small electric field." The films can carry single or multiple drugs that can be released in the exact order and timing that is most effective in treating the illness in question. One prime candidate that would benefit from this approach is chemotherapy. Paula Hammond, the Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering, notes "You can mete out what is needed, exactly when it's needed, in a systematic fashion".