Microchip Implant Delivers Bone Drug
What if osteoporosis sufferers could forget about injections of their meds and rely instead on a remote-controlled implant? Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but researchers in Denmark report that in a clinical trial they found that a microchip about the size of flash drive wirelessly delivered doses of a drug just as effectively as shots did. The implant was used with success for 19 daily doses.
The authors of the study published in Science Translational Medicine noted that although the device has promise, much more research needs to be done. According to MedPage Today, FDA approval could take several years. Even so, lead author Robert Farra, PhD, president of Waltham, Mass.-based MicroChips, which developed the technology, told MedPage Today that "The key advantage is that it can free patients from the burden of managing their own disease on a daily basis, and it can ensure compliance."
The device has 20 small reservoirs for individual doses. An electrical signal that is either pre-programmed or initiated wirelessly releases each dose. The chip is implanted just below the waistline under local anesthesia in an office procedure that takes about a half an hour.