We all know that flu shots are a necessary evil. While microneedle patches are replacing traditional injection procedures, patients still have to undergo numerous follow-ups. Now, MIT engineers are looking to eliminate the need for multiple booster shots with an advanced micropod technology.
“We are very excited about this work because, for the first time, we can create a library of tiny, encased vaccine particles, each programmed to release at a precise, predictable time, so that people could potentially receive a single injection that, in effect, would have multiple boosters already built into it,”
The pods, described as “tiny coffee cups” consist of an already FDA-approved material. For kicks, it’s called poly lactic-co-glycolic acid. Or just PLGA, really. The micropods have the potential to be practical in other ways, especially over long periods of time.
“The… technique could provide a new platform that can create nearly any tiny, fillable object with nearly any material, which could provide unprecedented opportunities in manufacturing in medicine and other areas,”
Because immune cells die over time and patient compliance when it comes to vaccines is low, the micropods are practically genius. Let’s face it — hospitals aren’t exactly the place to be.
There are a rising number of communities learning to address drug addiction as a health issue. All the same, some have yet to remove the stigma (and anyway, 3D printing can repair brain damage). In a perfectly timed series of events, the FDA has approved a device that may encourage other societies to tackle addiction head on. The electronic earpiece inhibits opioid withdrawal symptoms.
“Given the scope of the epidemic of opioid addiction, we need to find innovative new ways to help those currently addicted live lives of sobriety with the assistance of medically assisted treatment,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
The NSS-2 Bridge sends pulses to the cranial nerve, reducing nausea, anxiety, and body aches. Clinical trials showed that 88% of 73 patients experienced an easy segue into medical treatment.
“I’ve never seen it not work for an opioid patient,” [said Innovative Health Solutions president Brian] Carrico… “For us to sit on this technology, from a humanity standpoint, is incredibly irresponsible.”
As with any experimental technology, including the Bridge in addiction treatment costs an arm and a leg (and maybe a lung). So far, patients spend between $600 and $1,500. On the upside, it’s proven to many that it’s never too late to recover.