A tiny swallow of the device has already shown its efficiency as a more advanced method of drug delivery into the organism and carrying out invasive procedures, for example colonoscopy. The main problem of such devices remains power.
Researchers at mit have developed a safe power source where the electrolyte is used stomach acid. He will be part of already developed drugs delivery systems operating within the body for several weeks.
The idea of using as the electrolyte the gastric juice is easily explained, since the electrolyte of most batteries is acid. As an experiment, scientists attached the zinc and copper electrodes to the outside of a small swallow a capsule containing a temperature sensor and a 900-megahertz transmitter.
Stomach acid, as it turned out, a good conductor of electric current between the electrodes, ensuring operation of the device. In the course of experiments carried out in pigs, managed to take temperature readings and transmit them wirelessly every 12 seconds at a distance of 2 m from the receiver.
The “journey” of the device within the gastrointestinal tract lasted about six days. After getting into the small intestine, the acidity was decreased that led to decrease of efficiency of the device by about 1%, but that was enough for continuous operation.
Length of the device 40 mm, width 12 mm. the Received energy is sufficient to deliver the drugs, wrapped in thin Golden foil. How to assure researchers, in the future, with the improvement of the system, its size will decrease.