NASA’s Implantable Biocapsule Can Automatically Diagnose and Treat Disease

Designed by Dr. David Loftus, NASA’s new Biocapsule is a tiny device built from carbonnanotubes that would be surgically inserted just beneath the patients skin. These Biocapsules would be filled with cells primed to to detect and cure specific ailments, and would do so automatically, by releasing therapeutic molecules (proteins, peptides), via diffusion across the capsule wall. Though designed to treat astronauts during long-term missions -specifically for radiation exposure- these devices could obviously also be adapted to treat any number of illnesses right here on Earth. They could even be used to administer targeted chemotherapy treatments or perhaps take the place of insulin injections.

Though it will still likely be another 15-20 years before we can realistically hope to see these capsules put to use on human patients. Unlike so many other speculative advances in technology and medicine, the implants in question actually already exist, and are set to move on to the animal testing phase sometime in the near future. So while it’s tempting to dismiss headlines promising them to be set to ” change the future of medicine”, as just another bit of wishful thinking that’s just too good to be true. From time to time, some amazing thing comes along that isn’t based solely on hopeful speculation, and really could have world changing implications. And this -seems anyway- like it might actually be one of those things.



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