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Remote-Controlled Chip Implanted Under Woman’s Skin Could Deliver Birth Control For Up To 16 Years

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(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

CBS Connecticut (con't)

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LEXINGTON, Mass. (CBS Connecticut) — The term “wearable technology” is about to get a little deeper; skin deep.

According to CNET, a chip has been developed that is capable of being used as a contraceptive or for other drug administration purposes once placed under the skin.

As part of the Bill & Miranda Gates Foundation Family Planning program, a team led by MIT’s Robert Langer has proposed that the chip be used to deliver birth control to women.

The company MicroCHIPS in Lexington, Massachusetts developed a chip that is a 20 x 20 x 7 millimeter reservoir array which could be used to deliver birth control to women for 16 years once placed under the skin.

“These arrays are designed for compatibility with pre-programmed microprocessors, wireless telemetry, or sensor feedback loops to provide active control,” the company’s page reads.

Once placed under the skin, the chip would deliver a daily dose of 30mg of levongestrel, a common ingredient in most contraceptives, on demand.

The chip would be remote-controlled to allow for women to turn off the daily does in the case they want to get pregnant. Women could then turn the device back on when they need to.

Even more, the device isn’t only for contraceptive use.

So far the chip has been used in human trials to test osteoporosis medication for post-menopausal women, and the implications of such a chip are endless when it comes to drug administration.

What makes this possible is how the chip is built and works.  The chip is a reservoir in which a drug can be placed and released on demand with the remote or according a schedule, meaning that the future of medication may be as simple as pushing a button every morning, afternoon, or night.

While the chip has demonstrated a variety of uses, encrypting is to protect against a data breach is still a problem that needs resolving as the team hopes to move forward to FDA approval and an eventual market launch by 2018.

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