MIT Researchers Develop Easy To Swallow Gel Medicine


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BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Swallowing pills can be a difficult task for most children and some adults, so scientists at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have created a new gel that goes down easier than traditional pills or tablets.

The medicine is mixed into plant-based oils, such as sesame oil, with the hope of making it easier to swallow for children and adults who may have difficulty swallowing after suffering a stroke, for example.

The gel isn't just easy to swallow, it also doesn't need any type of refrigeration, which would make getting life-saving drugs to children in developing nations easier.

Giovanni Traverso is the senior author of the study. He is also the Karl van Tassel Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“This platform will change our capacity for what we can do for kids, and also for adults who have difficulty receiving medication." Traverso said. "Given the simplicity of the system and its low cost, it could have a tremendous impact on making it easier for patients to take medications.” 

When it comes to administering the gel, researchers also designed a dispenser similar to a squeezable yogurt package, with compartments that can be used to separate doses.

The FDA has given its approval for a clinical trial of the gel to start at Brigham and Women's within the next few months.

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