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C. Drug Delivery That's Easy On The Liver

Narrator: This is Science Today. An advanced drug delivery system the size of a thick credit card featuring microscopic mixers, pumps and needles, may benefit patients with weak livers who can't take oral medication. Dorian Liepmann, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley explains why.

Liepmann: When you take a pill, the primary pathway is from the stomach - gets absorbed through the stomach intestine and goes right to the liver and the liver filters out most of it.

Narrator: This causes the need to take more drugs which tend to beat the liver up.

Liepmann: So possibly, you wouldn't have to worry about liver toxicity as much, so some drugs would be possible that are not possible now. You can always inject drugs, but for regular usage, this would be the way people would want to do that.

Narrator: Liepmann and his colleagues are hoping to introduce this drug delivery system first to diabetics. The plastic card would attach to the shoulder and provide patients with a continuous flow of insulin. Liepmann is hoping this system will be available within a year. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.