Feeds

Wireless-controlled contraception implant is coming, says MIT

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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Along the way, it seems, the original gold membrane has been replaced by a titanium-platinum seal that operates on the same principle.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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.