San Antonio Engineers Developing Tiny Implantable Drug Delivery Device

“We are looking for a solution that can save lots of people’s lives.”

By Wendy RigbyDecember 28, 2016 9:46 am, , ,

From Texas Public Radio

Cancer, HIV, diabetes. These potentially deadly diseases require daily medications. Biomedical and mechanical engineer Lyle Hood, Ph.D., is passionate about using engineering tools to improve the lives of patients.

“Having better solutions to cure these degenerative, wasting diseases where somebody is going to die but they’re not going to die well, is absolutely a central passion of mine,” Hood said.

The University of Texas at San Antonio professor is hard at work with others in his lab developing a tiny capsule. The idea is to use the capsule to place medications precisely where they need to go in a non-invasive way. The drug delivery device can be placed precisely through a needle.

“This device is a cylinder,” Hood explained. “It’s three millimeters long and one millimeter in diameter so it’s basically the head of your pen.”

For cancer patients, this could be a new way to delivery immunotherapy drugs, the kind that recruit the immune system to recognize cancer cells as a threat and eradicate them. Right now, immunotherapy has to be injected and the body clears it quickly.

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