New technology out of Georgia Tech may reduce the number of pills people with multiple prescriptions need to take every day--or that Ray Kurzweil takes to try and live long enough to become immortal. That's because researchers have developed a new gelcap with multiple compartments that can be used to take different drugs at the same time.
Right now the hydrogel capsules are very tiny--just one micron across--and no one's actually tried to fill one with medication yet. But the researchers say a meta-pill could have significant advantages, like being able to suppress resistance to certain drugs by co-mingling them with medications that counter adverse effects. The one-shot capsules could also afford more precise control over dosages, and, of course, could mean less time spent organizing pills.
What's cool about the multi-compartment pills is that they can deliver two very different kind of drugs at the same time--those that can dissolve in water, and those that are hydrophobic, or generally repelled by water (think of how cooking oil refuses to mix with water). This is done by inserting microscopic polymer chains in the pill. The hydrophobic drugs are trapped within nanoparticles assembled from the polymer chains.… Read more