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  • Conversation: This Tiny Implant Can Deliver Medicine to Your Brain With the Push of a Button

    • January 26, 2018 1:11 PM GMT
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      This Tiny Implant Can Deliver Medicine to Your Brain With the Push of a Button

      (WASHINGTON) — Scientists have created a hair-thin implant that can drip medications deep into the brain by remote control and with pinpoint precision.
      Tested only in animals so far, if the device pans out it could mark a new approach to treating brain diseases — potentially reducing side effects by targeting only the hard-to-reach circuits that need care.
      “You could deliver things right to where you want, no matter the disease,” said Robert Langer, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose biomedical engineering team reported the research Wednesday.
      Stronger and safer treatments are needed for brain disorders ranging from depression to Parkinson’s. Simply getting medications inside the brain, past what’s called the blood-brain barrier, is a hurdle. It’s even harder to reach its deepest structures.
      Pills and IV drugs that make it inside trigger side effects as they wash over entire regions of the brain. So doctors have tried inserting tubes into the brain to pump drugs closer to their targets, but that risks infection and still isn’t accurate enough. The most targeted success to date is a cancer treatment, a wafer placed on the site of a surgically removed brain tumor that oozes out chemotherapy.
      The MIT team’s next-generation approach: a customizable deep-brain implant that can deliver varying doses of more than one drug on demand.
      Read more: http://ti.me/2DAXSr2

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