Incredible Edible Meds: Safe Electronic Devices in Pill Form

edible meds

Itty-bitty cameras that can be swallowed can give doctors a pretty great view of what’s going on inside a body, but could the next generation of swallowed medical devices be ones that contain both digestible material and cutting-edge electronic medical treatments? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are working on devices that contain non-toxic biochemical batteries which could be deployed to do all sorts of amazing things like stimulating damaged tissues or targeting drug delivery – and they’re no bigger than a regular pill.

swallowable electronics

Using the non-toxic battery developed by professor Jay Whitacre, electronics could be folded up into standard size gelatin capsules. The capsules would be naturally broken down in the digestive system and the newly-exposed electronics an their batteries would be activated by moisture. The device could then do whatever it was meant to do and pass safely through the digestive system in 18 to 24 hours. A new pill could be taken every day if necessary, with no ill effects. The future of medical testing and treatment could very well lie in these futuristic biocompatible edible devices.

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See more in Medical Marvels or under Science. May, 2013.