When taken orally or intravenously, the drugs typically travel throughout the body, producing unwanted side effects.
Now, scientists at MIT in Boston are working on an alternative, to administer drugs in a whole new way. There photopharmacology, an emerging approach in medicine, involving the activation and deactivation of drugs with light.
In summary, these drugs are “activated” by light directly in the target area. So-called “photoswitchable” drugs contain photosensitive molecules that essentially activate the drug when exposed to a flash of light.
This means that a drug may remain inactive when moving through the bloodstream or digestive tract, becoming active only once it has reached the necessary point. As a result, few side effects would occur.
That said, how is it possible to deliver a flash of light precisely to the target area, just when the drug is in that position?
Well, this is where a device developed by MIT researchers comes into play. A very unique device, measuring only a few micrometers (millionths of a meter) that can be surgically inserted into living tissues with little or no damage.
The tests are going very well. Perhaps this is the future for the administration of many drugs.
Source: Il Blog di Beppe Grillo by www.beppegrillo.it.
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