Medication via remote-control instead of a shot? Scientists implanted microchips in seven women that did just that, oozing out the right dose of a bone-strengthening drug once a day without them even noticing.
Implanted medicine is a hot field, aiming to help patients better stick to their meds and to deliver those drugs straight to the body part that needs them.
But Thursday's study is believed the first attempt at using a wirelessly controlled drug chip in people. If this early-stage testing eventually pans out, the idea is that doctors one day might program dose changes from afar with the push of a button, or time them for when the patient is sleeping to minimize side effects.
The implant initially is being studied to treat severe bone-thinning osteoporosis. But it could be filled with other types of medication, said co-inventor Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"It's like `Star Trek,'" said Langer, who co-authored the study appearing Thursday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. "Just send a signal over a special radio wave, and out comes the drug...