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'Implant could help forgetful patients'

'Implant could help forgetful patients'
22nd February 2008

Scientists are in the process of developing a small implant which could help forgetful patents to take their daily doses of medicine.

The new device, which measures about five mm across, will release regular doses of drugs for illnesses such as glaucoma and could be in place for up to a year.

Researchers at Edinburgh University claim that once it is implanted it would mean that patients would not have to remember to take oral medications nor would they have to be injected.

Stewart Smith, from the University's Institute of Integrated Micro and Nano Systems, said: "This could have many potential benefits in the future for delivering medication to a localised area.

"Being able to develop such technology, which is wireless, will mean that the implants can be created on a minute scale without the need for bulky batteries."

The device is currently in early stages of development and the research team are applying for funding for trials.

Dr Bal Dhillon, an eye specialist at NHS Lothian, told the Scotsman that the device could be especially beneficial to people with age related macular degeneration – a condition which requires monthly medication injections.

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