Technology 3 min read

Robotic Injection Pill Passes First Human Trials

This new robot pill could revolutionize modern injection methods. ¦ Lightspring / Shutterstock

This new robot pill could revolutionize modern injection methods. ¦ Lightspring / Shutterstock

Delivering drugs into the human body is not always easy or straightforward.

For example, someone with acromegaly – a hormone disorder – has to see a doctor to receive painful injections once every month. Likewise, an average type 1 diabetes patient with no insulin pump must stick a needle in their abdomen between 700 to 1000 times annually.

The list goes on. But the bottom line is, with every disease or disorder comes a varying number of injections on different parts of the body.

But, what if you can avoid all that poking?

With the RaniPill capsule – a futuristic robotic pill – you can do just that. Let’s start at the beginning.

RaniPill Capsule; The Robotic Pill Without Metals or Springs

An Indian Medical Inventor, in an attempt to find more natural ways to deliver large drug molecules into the human body, came up with an unlikely solution. He created a robotic pill. According to recent reports, the pills have only just undergone successful human testing.

But how exactly do these pills work?

Think of the pills as a little Rube Goldberg machine. When swallowed, the robotic capsule swims down to the intestines, where its shell dissolves to produce carbon dioxide. This inflates a balloon, which in turn pushes out a dissolvable micro-needle that pierces the intestinal wall. Finally, the needle delivers a drug into the bloodstream.

Sounds simple enough, right?

As complex as the whole process may seem, it’s quite capable. According to the developers, Rani Therapeutics, the pill has just completed its first successful human trial.

According to the developers, the participants did not feel the balloon inflate in their body, and felt no pain.

“There were no issues in swallowing the capsule, in passing it out, and, most importantly, no sensation when the balloon inflated and deflated,”

Imran, Rani’s chairman, and CEO.

While the intestinal wall lacked sharp pain receptors, it does have lots of blood vessels. As a result, the micro shot is painless, and the drugs are quickly taken to the bloodstream. In the end, the needle itself dissolves and the participants pass out the balloon remnants within 1 – 4 days.

Although the recent human trial test did not include a needle, the researchers confirmed an upcoming second test that includes one. According to Imran:

“Even though it has no brains and no electronics, it [works through] an interplay between material science and the chemistry of the body,”

Read More: 9 (Mostly) Household Robots That Will Change the Future

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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    Lisa Gaillard March 20 at 2:57 pm GMT

    I never like getting shots. It makes me squirm. This invention should be released the soonest. 🙂

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