Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hydrogel Implant Could Make Booster Shots Obsolete

We've all had booster shots at some point in our lives.  You know, you get an immunization injection, then at some point in the future you have to have another round to make sure you have the proper level of immunity.

This can be a major pain (pardon the pun) for many of us.  When I received my Hepatitis B vaccine while in dental school, the proper protocol was for a 3 shot series.

Now, in dental school, it was easy.  The injections were given by the oral surgery department and I was notified when to return for my next round.  However, in the real world this can mean more trips to a doctor's office for these follow up visits.  This can result in lost work time, taking kids out of school, etc.  Not to mention the fact that you actually have to get the injections to ensure immunity.  Lots of people either forget or are scared and just don't get them.

Now comes word of a way around these booster injections.

The idea is to place a booster amount in a small pea sized hydrogel capsule that is injected under the skin.  Later, when a booster amount is needed, the patient can take a pill that will release the chemical booster from inside the hydrogel.

The system is currently being tested in mice.  No word on when human delivery could be expected, but this is definitely something that bears watching.  I can see this type of delivery for all types of medications in the future...

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