CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are on the verge of making some gastrointestinal treatments more convenient and safer for patients.
There are a variety of ingested devices that remain in the GI tract for an extended period of time, like bariatric balloons that are inflated in the stomach to promote weight loss or stents to keep the esophagus open. But removing these devices usually required endoscopic procedures.READ MORE: Photo Released Of Missing Woman Dolly Thapa's Car
Now engineers at MIT are making devices from a light-sensitive hydrogel that biodegrades when exposed to light.READ MORE: Worcester Police Officer Was Justified In Fatal Shooting Of Phet Gouvonvong, DA Says
When they placed a small LED in the stomachs of pigs with bariatric balloons for about six hours, the balloons slowly deflated.MORE NEWS: Foxboro Barber Shaves His Head In Support Of Woman With Stage 4 Breast Cancer
They say this approach could be used with many other devices, including those that might deliver drugs to the gut.