Many people around the world live with chronic conditions that require daily medication. Microchips Biotech is a company in the Boston area that has developed an alternative to injections or pills that can automatically deliver precise doses of drugs. The device can be turned on or off and the dosage adjusted as may be required, and can keep administering the drugs for up to 16 years without needing to be changed. It ensures patient compliance with long-term medication treatments.
The device is implanted under the skin of the patient’s abdomen in a simple out-patient procedure using local anesthetic. The chip is 20 by 20 by 7 mm (about 3/4 of an inch square and 1/4 inch thick), and contains 200 micro-reservoirs that hold up to 1 mg of the medication. A wireless signal can turn the device on or off, or reprogram the schedule or the dosage to be delivered. The device was originally developed as a long-term contraceptive device for women that can easily be turned on and off. This application has received grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The same technology is also targeted for other applications, including treatment of osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, pain management, and hormonal diseases.
In December 2014, the company announced the successful completion of a clinical demonstration of the device. The trial was conducted on patients receiving treatment for osteoporosis, and the device was found to be successful.