Throughout the 18 years of my life, I have always dreaded every doctors visit where I ended up having to get a vaccination or some kind of shot. Its plain and simple they hurt and I do not prefer sharp objects going into my body; its just not very comfortable to most people. For those people, the time has come for a change because “A team of researchers from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a capsule coated in needles for patients to swallow, enabling the delivery of drugs directly into the stomach lining.” (Letzter) These doctors are experimenting and working on a pill that can replace all these repetitive, painful shots and vaccinations.
Doctors can now more efficiently dose patients with large amounts of antibodies when needed much like vaccinations. These pills were tested on pigs to see the effectiveness of the medicine. The pills are “Made of stainless steel, the pills contain a pool of insulin in the center and hollow needles on the outside, which pump insulin into the stomach, intestines, and colon over the course of a week.” (Letzter) The pills are the size of big vitamins, approximately the size of a shirt button and as long as a thumbnail.
The picture below demonstrates the process of the pill:
The mouth is also completely safe because the needles are surrounded by a material that only dissolves when in the stomach. Researchers examined the pigs after all the experiments and no damage whatsoever was found and they are continuing to keep safety as their number one priority. The coolest part of this new discovery is that this not only is more comfortable but is a more effective way for the body to absorb the molecules from the injections. In the pig experiment, insulin had a greater effect when taken with the pill than an injection under the skin. The next step researchers are working on is a pill where the body can just squeeze out molecules like toothpaste. These ideas are pretty revolutionary and sure would make it easier for me when getting vaccinations.
You can also find more material on the subject here: http://gizmodo.com/would-you-swallow-a-pill-covered-in-needles-instead-of-1641234428