No more shots?

L. Burkoth, Ph.D., PowderJect Pharmaceuticals, Fremont, Calif. MEDI 171, Monday, March 27, 9:50 a.m., Moscone Center, Room 135, Exhibit Level. See page 132 in the final program.)

  • High-tech fat droplets: High-tech fat droplets, known as liposomes, can encapsulate hard-to-deliver medications and successfully carry them to their targets. They are especially promising for delivering vaccines and gene-therapy molecules, the researchers say. They recently created a "smart" fat droplet fitted with special molecules that allow it to attach to specific cells, thereby delivering the encapsulated drug to precise locations. (Robert N. Brey, Ph.D., Endorex Corporation, Lake Forest, Ill.; MEDI 172, Monday, March 27, 10:30 a.m., Moscone Center, Room 135, Exhibit Level. See page 132 in the final program.)

  • Pharmacy on a chip: In response to a controlled electrical signal, dime-sized microchips send medications to their target destination. Unlike patches and many polymeric implants, which send medicine continuously, these silicon-based devices can deliver drugs in precise amounts at specific times. Also known as controlled-release microchips, these pharmacies on a chip are part of a new wave of nanotechnology that is transforming modern medicine. The chips are slated for preclinical trials. (John T. Santini, Jr., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.; MEDI 174, Monday, March 27, 1:01 p.m., Moscone Center, Rooms 130/131. See page 132 in the final program.)

  • Painless microneedles: A tiny platter of microscopic needles -- each no wider than the diameter of a human hair -- delivers medication through the skin without causing pain. The reason: the hollow needles are so small they cannot reach the skin's nerve cells. Researchers say the device can even be fitted with microelectronics to control the time and dosage of medicine delivered. The researchers believe the device may be especially useful for delivering large m

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