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Future of MEMS technology in the human body

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Bioengineers at the University of California, San Francisco, are interested in finding ways to deliver medicine into the body using microelectrical mechanical systems, or MEMS. Tejal Desai explains that this is the same technology used to create integrated circuits.

Desai:            We began to explore, can you use these processes to create really small things and apply them to the body?  And so we've been developing a number of different systems where you can either implant little devices that sit in the body and deliver medications over long periods of time or implants in which you can put actual cells in those devices and those cells act as basically artificial organs that deliver and respond to the body.

Narrator:       Desai and her colleagues are working on developing an artificial pancreas.

Desai             What that is, is basically a little capsule that has pancreatic cells and pancreatic cells are the cells that secrete insulin in response to glucose.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.