Medical devices in pill form

29 March 2013

A team of researchers have announced they are developing what they describe as edible medical devices. Working out of Carnegie Mellon University, the team are said to be developing devices that will take the form of a pill to be swallowed by the patient.

"Our design involves flexible polymer electrodes and a sodium ion electrochemical cell, which allows us to fold the mechanism into an edible pill that encapsulates the device," said assistant professor in the departments of materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering Christopher Bettinger.

Having been programmed, the device will be set to work in the gastrointestinal tract or the small intestine where it could potentially stimulate damaged tissue, monitor conditions of the gastric tract or facilitate more targeted drug delivery for certain types of cancers.

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