February 17, 2012
Remote controls may not be for just appliances anymore. In a new small study, women with severe osteoporosis were implanted with a microchip that releases bone-building drugs at the push of a button, a delivery method that could someday become common for various health conditions.
Roughly 1.5-by-2.5 inches in size, the microchip significantly improved patient compliance with a drug regimen that normally requires painful daily self-injections, study authors said. The clinical trial, conducted on seven osteoporosis patients in Denmark, was the first to test a wirelessly controlled microchip in this capacity.
“It frees patients from the burden of managing their disease on a daily basis,” said Robert Farra, co-author of the study and president and chief operating officer of MicroCHIPS Inc., the Waltham, Mass., company that funded and supervised the trial. “I think there will be a class of drugs [for other conditions] that will be very suitable to use the chip for . . we were very pleased with the results.”