Biomedical Engineering: Drug Deliveryman

We used to take our medicine by tablespoon. Thanks to Robert Langer's engineering magic, we may someday take it in a chip

Imagine writing a letter of life-and-death importance and trying to mail it only to discover that you have the wrong address, the wrong envelope and no way to buy a stamp. Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been wrestling with a problem very much like that for 25 years. In his case the letters are life-saving drugs, and the goal is to deliver them to the right place at the right dose and at the right time.

Langer's career as pharmaceutical postman began in 1974 when he graduated from M.I.T. with a doctorate in chemical engineering. He had...

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