Feeds

Wireless-controlled contraception implant is coming, says MIT

I love you baby, but we can't do it without encryption

Remote control for virtualized desktops

MIT's decade-plus pitch to embed microchip-based drug-dispensaries in humans has been re-framed as a microprocessor-based, wireless-controlled, fully Internet-of-Things-compliant, implantable contraceptive.

Since 1999, MIT's Robert Langer et al have been pitching the idea of using microchips to deliver medicines. The idea, way back then, was envisaged chips with reservoirs of drugs kept behind a gold membrane. Applying a voltage to the membrane would dissolve it to release the liquid.

Perhaps because healthcare is one of the world's most regulated research fields, it took from 1999 to 2006 for MicroCHIPS (the company set up to commercialise the technology and manage the patent portfolio) to get through its pre-clinical work, according to the Boston Business Journal.

That was followed up with its first clinical trial, which was completed in 2012, testing dispensing osteoarthritis medications.

Along the way, it seems, the original gold membrane has been replaced by a titanium-platinum seal that operates on the same principle.

MIT's house magazine says the idea of using it for chip-borne contraceptives was sparked by a visit by Bill Gates to Langer's laboratory. The complaint that they're trying to address is that "contraception is inconvenient and imperfect".

The company claims a contraceptive chip could hold enough drug to last 16 years. In-built wireless communications would let women turn off contraception at will.

The company hasn't yet filed an application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start tests. There's also no encryption for the chips' wireless communications.

And in spite of the device being widely welcomed as "imminent", MicroCHIPS's product pipeline doesn't even consider the contraceptive implant as in the preclinical stage yet. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.