Innovative medical implant uses a magnetic field to deliver drugs

magnetic implant
UBC
In five years time, a magnetic implant may deliver your personalized dose of medication. The device has been developed by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and could help ease treatments for patients required to take many pills or undergo regular intravenous injections.

At just six millimeters in diameter, the device is made of a silicone sponge and magnetic carbonyl iron particles encased in a round polymer. It’s designed to fit just under a patient’s skin. When activated by a magnet passed over the outside of the skin, the sponge deforms and its drug contents are dispersed through a small opening in the polymer casing.

A major benefit beyond its minimal invasiveness is that, unlike similar devices, which need a power source to disperse medication, the UBC device needs only an external magnetic field. This can be used to control dose sizes through magnets of varying strengths.

“We had a prior work on magnetic drug delivery device that contains a membrane and a drug reservoir,” Mu Chiao, a UBC professor of mechanical engineering who supervised the project, told Digital Trends. “It was quite challenging to make that device. So we thought about combining drug reservoirs and the membranes into one. Then we thought of a sponge.”

The device was loaded with docetaxel, a prostate cancer drug, and administered to animal tissue in laboratory trials. The researchers demonstrated that the magnet was able to function and the drug didn’t lose its potency, proving effective against cancer cells after repeated uses.

Though Chiao sad the implant is still at least five to ten years from commercialization, the researchers hope to target procedures that are close to the skin, such as long-term hormone treatment.

A paper detailing the study was published online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Smart Home

The robot invasion arrived at CES 2019 — and it was cuter than we expected

Robots are finally at our doorsteps, but they’re not here to annihilate us (yet), they’re here to be our friends. CES 2019 showed us some of the cutest robots we’ve ever seen. Here are some of our favorites.
Emerging Tech

Stomach implant device uses jolts of electricity to fight obesity

An implant created at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could help fight obesity by attaching to users' stomachs and then suppressing feelings of hunger using jolts of electricity.
Mobile

The best CES 2019 health gadgets combat stress, pain, and more

We can all use some help with our health and CES 2019 was packed with intriguing devices designed to combat pain and stress, help you monitor blood pressure, reduce tinnitus, and care for the sick or elderly.
Wearables

One night with this sensor on your head could change your sleep forever

Get past the fact you’ll be in bed with a sensor on your forehead, and the Beddr SleepTuner may be the first step in curing your sleep problems and improving your overall health.
Mobile

VisionCheck might give you the option to ditch your visit to your optometrist

A new gadget enables you to test your eyes yourself at home. Using the EyeQue VisionCheck, an automated optical device, you can measure your eyes' refractive error and find out what strength of glasses you need.
News

Digital Trends Top Tech of CES 2019 Award Winners

5G. A.I. Voice assistants. Metaverse. Yes, metaverse. CES 2019 slathered on the buzzwords thick and heavy, but beneath the breathless hype and bluster, there were amazing products to back it up, too. Except metaverse. C’mon Nissan, you…
Product Review

Garmin’s 4G LTE VivoActive 3 keeps you safe when you’re out on the trails

Garmin takes its already great VivoActive 3 Music fitness smartwatch and adds a 4G LTE connection, courtesy of Verizon. The watch now has streaming music, independent GPS, and best of all, SMS support and various safety features. We’ve…
Deals

Want to eat healthy in 2019? 10 everyday kitchen products from Walmart can help

If 2019 is the year you curb your delivery habit and start getting intimate with your kitchen. After all, you want to eat well. The only problem is that you’re not sure how to begin. Here are some fantastic kitchen products to aid your…
Emerging Tech

This energy-generating treadmill cuts your waistline and your power bill

Fitness equipment maker SportsArt was on hand at CES 2019 with its latest piece of sustainable sports equipment - the electricity-generating Verde G690 treadmill.
Deals

Before buying a Fitbit or Apple Watch, check out these fitness trackers under $50

Fitbit and Apple Watch are top of the line when it comes to fitness trackers but if you want to save, we have alternatives. If 2019 is the year you keep track of your health and budget your expenses, then take a look at these fitness…
Product Review

One breath into this device could change what you eat forever

Anyone living with a food intolerance knows the pain — literally and figuratively — of dealing with it, and even identifying what the cause of the problem is. The FoodMarble Aire wants to solve this, and we took a closer look at CES…
Health & Fitness

Futuristic mask filters out air pollution for cyclists and runners

A concern for cyclists in urban environments is staying safe from airborne pollutants. A cycling mask shown off at CES 2019 could help combat this problem by blocking out air pollution to keep cyclists' lungs clear as they ride.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!