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Robot Could Operate Docking Station Inside the Gut

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Diagram of how the insulin delivery system works.

The robotic drug delivery system includes an implant near the intestines and magnetic capsules that would resupply the implant with medicine.

Credit: The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

A robotic insulin delivery system developed by researchers at Italy's Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies can be implanted surgically in the abdomen and resupplied with insulin via swallowable magnetic capsules.

The system serves as an internal docking station.

When a swallowed capsule reaches the small intestine where the implant is located, the implant magnetically draws the capsule to itself, positions it for docking, punctures the capsule with a retractable needle, and pumps the insulin into its reservoir.

The capsule is then released to continue through the digestive tract and out of the body.

An external programming device wirelessly controls the magnetic fields, and the implant is charged wirelessly by an external device.

The system could benefit people with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times per day, and potentially could be used to deliver drugs for other diseases.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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