In the future, electronic implants could eliminate the need to take daily pills and instead administer medication with the push of a button. By developing a substance that responds to electrical signals with the release of molecules, researchers have taken a significant step toward developing “remotely controlled” drugs.
It could be put to use in the production of futuristic implants that dispense doses of a drug at predetermined intervals, relieving patients of the burden of having to remember to take their medication.
There is evidence to suggest that over fifty percent of people do not take the prescriptions they are prescribed appropriately, putting their health in jeopardy as a result of their unwillingness or inability to adhere to the dosage plan. A medicine could be delivered to a specific area of the body more precisely with the use of an implant as opposed to a tablet. When the drug is taken in tablet form, it may have an influence on other sections of the body, which may result in unfavorable adverse effects.
According on the findings of the researchers, a prototype might be ready within a year. It might have a diameter of less than one centimeter and be controlled by an application on a smartphone. The novel substance consists of a polymer surface that, when subjected to a straightforward electrical pulse, can flip between the holding and release of molecules.
A physician or a computer program could assess the requirement for a new dose of medication in a patient, and a remote-controlled pulse could activate the delivery of the drug from an implant situated in the area of the body where it is required. This would eliminate the need for the patient to remember to take their medication at regular intervals. Because the polymer on the electrode surface is relatively thin, it is able to react to a very tiny electrochemical pulse, which means that the implant only needs a minimal amount of power to function.
If it were utilized in the digestive system, for example, researchers think it could handle the different levels of acidity that are present there.
A large number of researchers are currently working on developing comparable implantable medication delivery devices. It is thought that these devices would function especially well to address pain in specific regions, which will aid those who suffer from illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The study appears in the Applied Chemistry journal.