Diabetic patients need not worry about having an injection every day. This is thanks to some researchers from Italy who have created a robot that can deliver insulin to the patient’s body without having to use any needles. The robot is named PILLSID and has two parts. One is an internal insulin dispenser that will be implanted in the abdomen of the patient by a doctor. The other part contains a magnetic capsule that will contain the hormone.
The dispenser can be refilled by taking one of the pills. It will travel down through the digestive system until the site where the device is implanted. The magnetic ability of the capsule will rotate it and it will fit into the desired position. The device will then puncture the capsule using a retractable needle and the medicine will be filled into the device. Another interesting feature is the ability of the device to be charged wirelessly, cutting down the number of times a doctor has to intervene in maintaining the device.
The device will be a bit alien to at least some of the people. But it is a method that can be used in treating type 1 diabetes more effectively. The most common method now is the insulin pumps that need a tube or needle to administer the medicine. Multiple injections can make people weary of this method. Arianna Menciassi, who is one of the co-authors of the study, told IEEE Spectrum that “Maybe it’s scary to think about a docking station inside the body, but it worked.” This method can also be used to administer other life-saving drugs.
The study was conducted on three diabetic pigs. The team found that the method could easily manage their insulin levels for many hours. Since the team found that at times some bodily fluids are being leaked into the device, they are working on sealing the device better.
PILLSID will take some time to make it to hospitals. But the devices that can tend to medical needs from inside one’s body are sure to become more common.