These robotic capsules, known as the RoboCap, are covered in gelatin, have a tiny reservoir at one end, and have tunnelling characteristics in their main body.
MIT researchers and scientists have created a brand-new medication capsule that can totally replace insulin injections. These robotic capsules have the ability to pass through the body’s mucus barrier and small intestines before releasing the medication ingredients.
The mucus barrier in the digestive intestines was impenetrable to protein medications prior to the development of these robotic pills, thus doctors were forced to make do by injecting the medication straight into their patients.
“By displacing the mucus, we can maximise the drug’s dispersion within a local area and improve the absorption of both small molecules and macromolecules,” said Giovanni Traverso, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.
Orally administered protein medications begin to degrade even before they cross the mucus barrier; if they manage to penetrate further, the digestive tract’s acidic environment breaks down the pharmaceuticals. However, these new robotic pills can carry both insulin and vancomycin while effortlessly passing through mucus and the digestive tract.
The study’s lead author, Shriya Srinivasan, essentially built a protective capsule. This pill is made to readily pass through the barrier and tunnel through mucus.
“I reasoned that we could deposit the medication directly on the epithelium if we could tunnel through the mucus. She explained the concept of the robot pills: “The idea is that you would swallow this capsule and the outer layer would disintegrate in the digestive tract, exposing all these features that start to churn through the mucus and clean it.
These gelatin-coated capsules, known as RoboCaps, have a tiny reservoir at one end and tunnelling characteristics throughout the majority of the capsule. These capsules have a motor that starts spinning when they come into touch with a certain PH level, allowing the capsule to pass past mucus barriers.
“The RoboCap temporarily removes the initial mucus barrier before increasing local medication dispersion to improve absorption. We can really maximise our ability to create the ideal environment for the medicine to be absorbed by combining all of these components, according to Traverso.