In Brief

NASA has developed technology that would allow doses to be administered automatically without the patient's involvement.

American space agency NASA has developed a method to deliver medical treatments automatically in response to an ailment without the need of a doctor’s appointment – or even the patient’s awareness that anything is wrong.

NASA’s Biocapsule is a tiny container embedded under the skin that is capable of diagnosing internal changes in the body, triggering the release of a measured dose of medication to help the body resist and/or recover from a physiological threat. Made entirely of carbon nanotubes, the Biocapsule contains living cells that are ‘programmed’ to release therapeutic molecules in response to specific stimuli. The cells can live for months surviving on nutrients like oxygen and sugar around the capsule. And since each capsule can be made to have multiple responses to different problems, essentially different ‘programs,’ a single Biocapsule could fill a number of roles for years.

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