14 February 2008

The IntelliDrug tooth dispenses medications in the mouth

A unique invention called IntelliDrug – the fruit of years of work by scientists from Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Israel.

"New is good because it provides an alternative to the classical methods of treatment when it is necessary to consume a large amount of drugs, or even to painful injections," says Andy Wolff (Andy Wolff), one of the founders of the German company Saliwell. It was organized on the basis of the network of medical centers in tel Aviv (Assuta Medical Centers), where he started creating IntelliDrug.

Wolff and Ben Bay (Ben Beiski), Executive Director of the Saliwell, patented the technology and is soon going to introduce it into mass production.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves and continue the story about the unusual device.


Artificial tooth itself determines the dose and the time of his "rendition" (illustration from the website discovery.com).

How does "use" of drugs, if the artificial tooth is already installed in the mouth?

Electronics novelties are made of stainless steel and polymers includes the capacity for drug valve, a couple of sensors and batteries. The medication the doctor is loaded in a special container inside the tooth is in solid form.

Then the saliva penetrates through a special membrane in the inlet of the tank, dissolve the medicine and the pressure in the tank increases. The microcontroller on the other side of the "tooth" opens the valve and through a thin capillary produces a solution in the oral cavity with a predetermined (programmed) intervals.

The first prototype of the IntelliDrug. Interestingly, this is not the first tooth in the electronics, which is written in the media. Here are just sensational at the time of tooth-implant with the phone turned out to be a joke (photo from intellidrug.org).

One sensor monitors the flow of dissolved drugs. The other – his concentration, to see whether it ends. Otherwise, the sensor sends a signal to an external device.

It looks like a small infrared remote control, like a TV. The remote will not only receive signals from the teeth, but also be able to monitor its performance. However, it is not clear whether it is necessary to constantly carry it with you.

Chip implant IntelliDrug (photo from intellidrug.org).

Meanwhile, software IntelliDrug now allows the doctor to accurately control the dosage and time of submission of the medication. In addition, at any time the physician can view the history of administration of the drug. In some cases, the accuracy of the device even helps to treat with drugs that are effective in small quantities and are toxic to the body at large. Novelty, of course, can hardly be called universal, because it is unlikely that someone will be sacrificing a healthy tooth, even if it really is necessary to take drugs constantly. But still people can decide on it, especially if he suffers from any chronic disease or drug (alcohol) dependence.

A definite plus of the invention – it is not necessary to drink the pills at all. Drugs enter the body themselves, and in most cases people do not even notice it. According to the creators, the implant does not interfere with the person neither to talk nor eat.

Layout and diagram of the sensor flow rate. It is determined by the difference between the readings of two sensors located in the flow of drugs, among which is the heater (photo and illustration from the website intellidrug.org).

Of course, a large quantity of drugs within the tooth will not fit, but even this modest volume is quite enough for a couple of weeks. Then will have to come to the doctor to refill medications and battery.

Continue. One outlet of the new device is on the side of the tongue, the other from the side of the cheeks.

This arrangement facilitates rapid penetration of drugs through the buccal mucosa and sublingual tissues in the blood (from the mucous good bandwidth, besides they have a lot of superficial blood vessels). And since the drug almost immediately enters the bloodstream, it is much faster and better absorbed.

The location of the output nozzles teeth (illustration from the website intellidrug.org).

Through this method of drug delivery bypasses the intestines and liver, without breaking and not breaking their work. Accordingly, the dose of the drug, which is necessary for effective rehabilitation, much lower. And this, in turn, affects the cost of treatment and severity of side effects. Wolff in the near future intends to offer novelty and children (almost all of them don't like to swallow the medication, especially if the latter is bitter). For them to fix the tank, for example, orthodontic nasuni clip (or, more simply, on the braces).

Variations exist for adults. Department of medicine, and other fillings, artificial teeth can migrate to a dental bridge, the Kapu or dentures.

In addition, the device is not necessary to install it in my mouth for the rest of your life, it can be removable. Although elderly people, and especially patients with Alzheimer's disease doctors still recommended to put a permanent implant.

In clinical trials in pigs, the researchers injected animals drugs naltrexone (used for the treatment of alcohol dependence), and galantamine (applied subcutaneously in the treatment of various diseases).

Clinical trials on pigs showed that when using the IntelliDrug the dosage is maintained at a more constant level, rather than at its introduction into the body of the standard ways. Vertically there is a pending drug concentration in the blood (milligrams per milliliter), horizontally — time of day (hours). Blue graph — the pills, the orange — and- work "tooth" (illustration from the website intellidrug.org).

It turned out that in case of swallowing tablets, the peak concentration of drug in the blood is achieved after about a half hour.

However, she grows quite quickly and just as quickly drops while using the IntelliDrug allows you to maintain it at the same level throughout the day.

Later testing was conducted tooth dosing in humans, and scientists were satisfied with the result. The reactions of the patients still says nothing.

Now the team is developing a management option IntelliDrug using technology similar to the device RFID chips (RFID chip) or mobile phones (as it is not specified).

If they succeed, the mobile phone (luckily they are now ubiquitous) will allow the doctor and the patient to obtain information about the current status of the teeth almost instantly.

Company Saliwell predicts the emergence of novelties in the market in 2009, but notes that this requires adequate funding.

We will add that a lot of time scientists have spent in testing the device in unusual situations when it may break. Because IntelliDrug under any circumstances should not endanger the health or life of the patient. However, large-scale tests is yet to come.


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