Smart Pill

Researchers at M.I.T. reported last week in Nature that they had built the first prototype "pharmacy on a chip," a tiny reservoir-filled microchip that could be made small enough to be swallowed or injected and smart enough to release drugs or hormones in a predetermined order.

HOW IT WORKS

1 Dozens of pinprick-size containers are each filled with about 25 nanoliters of liquid, gel or solid and covered with a thin gold film. The chip is then immersed in a liquid containing low concentrations of chloride ions (like those found in human bodily fluids).

2 When a small electric charge is...

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