Medicine release mechanism


technologyinforms Medicine

A research team from MIT say they have recently successfully concluded trials on a pill that sticks to your gastrointestinal tract and can act as a slow long-term drug release mechanism. This will be particularly encouraging for both people who don't like taking pills but still have to find a way of getting the right medical treatment and it solves the problem for doctors who cannot prescribe certain pills because they are rapidly broken down and digested in the body, which means taking many pills over a short period of time to get the required dosage at the right time.

The MIT pill sticks to the surfaces of the gastrointestinal tract using a mucoadesive polymer called carbopol to get the pill to work, this material naturally adhere's to mucosal surfaces like the lining of the stomach and intestines. Once the pill is been swallowed one side of the pill sticks to the wall of the gastrointestinal tract to keep it in place, at the same time the other side of the pill has been designed to solve the other problem with this type of pill, that once in place it gets hit by food or other things that are passing which then pull the tablet off the gastrointestinal wall resulting in the medication either not being delivered at all or delivered to the wrong place at the wrong time. This new design to the other side of the pill relies on a special omniphobic coating that repels all food and liquids. This coating is made of fluorinated and lubricated cellulitis acetate, the design inspiration for this side of the pill was inspired by the lotus leaf which is renowned for its water repelling qualities.
The pill has what they call a Janus, the two-faced mythical God, design which is why it is so groundbreaking. Many past trials have been conducted on pills that were supposed to be able to do this job, until now none of them worked. The worst effects from some of these previous attempts were blockages in the gastrointestinal tract or just pills that completely disappeared after being knocked off the gastrointestinal tract wall by passing foods and liquids. In today's modern medical world extended-release drug solutions are extremely valuable and becoming more and more common. Today however most of these drugs are administered using implants, some of which actually means surgery to get the drugs into place. The second most common method used is by patches that are due to the skin, like the antismoking patches that are very common today.
As far as all the tests have shown the MIT Janus pill is working, but still requires much more testing mainly to measure how long the tablets will stay attached in the gastrointestinal tract and to determine the rate of the extended drug release. Once all the tests have been completed and the pills become available on the market the scientists believe that the pills will be used to prescribe everything from antibiotics to malaria and tuberculosis drugs.


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