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Novel applications of MEMS technology


Narrator:       This is Science Today. The same technology used to create integrated circuits may one day be applied to the body to deliver medicine or serve as implants that act as an artificial organ. Tejal Desai, a bioengineer at the University of California, San Francisco, is working with microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, to create tiny devices that can treat diabetes or kidney failure. But Desai says they're also looking at different devices which one could potentially inject via catheter. 

Desai:            Eventually, the goal is to create an implant that actually would just be a simple injection and that injection would be able to have a device. It's made out of a really thin film of polymer material and has small channels that can deliver drugs for many months.

Narrator:       Desai says they have not yet tested this in humans, but eventually such devices would be ideal to treat patients with type 1 diabetes.

Desai:            So, that's the case in which their cells are being selectively destroyed by their immune system and they're not able to produce insulin.

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