The future of drug delivery may be a programmable, wirelessly controlled microchip implanted in a patient's body.
A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology conceived the idea 15 years ago, helped form a company called MicroCHIPS to explore commercialization, and recently announced results of a successful in-body test.
"You could literally have a pharmacy on a chip," says Langer, a professor and longtime plastics expert at MIT who cofounded MicroCHIPS. "You can do remote control delivery; you can do pulsatile drug delivery; and you can deliver multiple drugs." Langer tells PlasticsToday that metals are used as seals in the chip that was tested, but biodegradable chips made from polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) have also been studied. There are other small plastic parts in the device that the company declined to identify