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Could Shots Become a Thing of the Past?

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Gorda says that the device could be used in treating diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or chronic pain, and may even play a role in delivering gene therapy. He adds that use in asthma and other lung disorders is also possible.

Another researcher here suggests that implantation of a dime-sized microchip may make needles a thing of the past. The chip, when placed under the skin, would contain hundreds of mini-reservoirs capable of dispensing medications on demand, says John Santini Jr., PhD, president of MicroCHIPS Inc. of Waltham, Mass.

Santini and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have tested the chips in the laboratory and are planning to test them in animals soon. He said the devices could deliver drugs used to control chronic pain, in cancer therapy, in hormone therapy, and for other conditions.

"This is very intriguing work," says Saltzman, "but it is very preliminary."

 

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