Digestive tract disorders such as Crohn's disease, colitis and colon cancer are becoming increasingly common, particularly in the western world. Crohn’s disease and colitis can be treated with drugs, notably steroids, but many of these drugs have adverse and unpleasant side effects for patients when administered systemically as whole-body doses.
p > However, by delivering the required drugs directly to the site of disease, dose levels may be lowered and many of these side effects could be reduced.
It is this need for accurate delivery of drugs to specific sites in the intestinal tract that drove the development of Philips Research’s intelligent pill “iPill” for electronically controlled drug delivery. In addition to the potential benefits of this new technology to improve patient therapy, the iPill promises to be a valuable research tool for the development of any new drug that is delivered via the intestinal tract.
Capsules containing ultra-miniature cameras are already in use as diagnostic tools, but lack the ability to deliver drugs. The challenge for scientists at Philips Research was to find a way of navigating a drug-loaded pill capsule to the site of disease and then releasing a metered amount of drug into the gut at that location.
Phiilps Research - Intelligent Pill