Human beings know their way around a lot of valuable things, and yet their greatest badge of honor is how they can just get better on a consistent basis. This ability, in particular, has allowed us to hit upon some huge milestones, with technology proving to be a major member of the stated group. The reason why technology enjoys such an esteemed stature in our lives is largely predicated upon its unique skill-set, which was unprecedented enough to introduce us to a reality that we could have never imagined otherwise. However, if take a closer look, it becomes clear how the whole runner was also inspired by the way we utilized those skills. The latter component was, in fact, what gave the creation a spectrum-wide presence, including a very well-timed appearance on our healthcare block. Technology’s foray into healthcare was so perfect mainly because it came right when the sector was beginning to struggle against its own obsolete structure. Fortunately enough, this reality went through a massive overhaul under the new regime, but even after such a pivotal development, the legend of medtech will somehow continue to grow in one capacity or the other. The same has only turned more and more evident over the recent past, and MIT’s latest brainchild might just give it a much sharper edge.
The researching team at MIT has successfully developed a robotic drug delivery capsule named as RoboCap, which is designed to administer sensitive protein drugs such as insulin, through the wall of the intestine, something that has been a real challenge for the medical field so far. You see, protein drugs have long displayed a serious incompatibility with oral delivery due to its tendency to get destroyed by the low pH levels in the intestine. So, how does RoboCap solves the issue? Well, the answer to that resides in its construction. According to certain reports, the capsule, alongside a reservoir that contains the protein, also boasts a drilling mechanism. This mechanism, which is created by a small motor and a studded surface, activates a spinning motion on the capsule’s part, and consequentially, enables it in terms of drilling through the tough-to-break mucus layer that lines the gastrointestinal tract. Once it passes through the stated layer, the only step left would be to drop the protein payload in epithelium.
Interestingly enough, the gelatin coating used to cover RoboCap can also be altered, therefore allowing it to break down at different pH levels. This particular feature, if sustainable, will pave the way for us to administer drugs in various other parts of the gastrointestinal tract that have different levels of acidity, such as the stomach.
“What the RoboCap does is transiently displace the initial mucus barrier and then enhance absorption by maximizing the dispersion of the drug locally,” said Giovanni Traverso, one of the creators of the new robotic pill. “By combining all of these elements, we’re really maximizing our capacity to provide the optimal situation for the drug to be absorbed.”