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Magnetically controlled pill could boost body's absorption of drugs
Date:1/17/2011

es on a pill so that it's safe to use in the body. They designed their system to sense the position of pills and hold them there with a minimum of force.

"The most important thing is to be able to monitor the forces that you exert on the pill in order to avoid damage to the surrounding tissue," said Mathiowitz. "If you apply a little more than necessary force, your pill will be pulled to the external magnet, and this is a problem."

To accomplish this, the team including lead author and former graduate student Bryan Laulicht took careful measurements and built an external magnet system with sophisticated computer control and feedback mechanisms.

"The greatest challenges were quantifying the required force range for maintaining a magnetic pill in the small intestines and constructing a device that could maintain intermagnetic forces within that range," said Laulicht, who is now a postdoctoral scholar at MIT.

Even after holding a pill in place for 12 hours in the rats, the system applied a pressure on the intestinal wall that was less than 1/60th of what would be damaging.

The next step in the research is to begin delivering drugs using the system and testing their absorption, Mathiowitz and Laulicht said.

"Then it will move to larger animal models and ultimately into the clinic," Laulicht said. "It is my hope that magnetic pill retention will be used to enable oral drug delivery solutions to previously unmet medical needs."


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Contact: David Orenstein
David_Orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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