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This robotic pill clears mucus from the gut to deliver meds


A mucus-wicking robotic pill could provide a brand new method to deliver meds.

The multivitamin-sized gadget homes a motor and a cargo maintain for medicine, together with ones which might be sometimes given by way of injections or intravenously, similar to insulin and a few antibiotics. If individuals may take such medicine orally, they might probably keep away from each day pictures or a hospital keep, which might be “a huge game changer,” says MIT biomedical engineer Shriya Srinivasan.

But medicine that enter the physique by way of the mouth face a tricky journey. They encounter churning abdomen acid, raging digestive enzymes and sticky slicks of mucus in the gut. Intestinal mucus “sort of acts like Jell-O,” Srinivasan says. The goo can entice drug particles, stopping them from getting into the bloodstream.

The new gadget, dubbed RoboCap, whisks away this downside. The pill makes use of floor grooves, studs and torpedo-inspired fins to scrub away intestinal mucus like a miniature brush whirling inside a bottle. In experiments in pigs, RoboCap tunneled through mucus lining the walls of the small intestine, depositing insulin or the IV antibiotic vancomycin alongside the method, Srinivasan and colleagues report September 28 in Science Robotics. After churning for about 35 minutes, the pill continued its journey by means of the gut and finally out of the physique.

RoboCap is the newest pill-like gadget made to be swallowed.  In 2019, a few of the similar researchers who developed RoboCap debuted a special gadget­ — one which injects drugs by pricking the inside of the stomach (SN: 2/7/19). That pea-sized injector was not designed to work in the small gut, the place some medicine are most simply absorbed. The RoboCap may have the opportunity to deliver bigger drug payloads, Srinivasan says. 

A robotic pill known as RoboCap churns by means of viscous mucus (stained pink) and intestinal juices (inexperienced) in a lab dish (proven sped up in the first clip on this video). In experiments in pigs, the pill cleared mucus from the lining of the small gut to deliver insulin or antibiotics.

Source: www.sciencenews.org


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