Health Technology

Remote-Controlled Contraceptive Implant Chip That Lasts 16 Years

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MicroCHIPS a Massachusetts-based startup has developed an implantable contraceptive chip that can be wirelessly controlled.

The chip is a 20-millimeter square, about 7 millimeters thick.

Each day while “On”, the chip dispenses 30 micrograms of a hormone called levonorgestrel.

The chip dispenses the drug via an array of tiny reservoirs on the chip. These microreservoirs are sealed with a platinum and titanium membrane before the chip is implanted under the skin of the buttocks, upper arm, or abdomen. When an electrical current from an internal battery is applied, the membrane seal melts temporarily — in a controlled degradation — and releases the dose of the hormones or drugs.

“The idea of using a thin membrane like an electric fuse was the most challenging and the most creative problem we had to solve,” MicroCHIPS president Robert Farra tells Tech Review.

The device is designed to last 16 years. If the patient wants to be taken off birth control, she can just turn the device off with a simple click on the remote control. Turning it back on is just as simple.


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“Remote-Controlled Contraceptive Implant Chip That Lasts 16 Years”