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Avoiding The Ouch: Scientists Are Working On Ways To Swap The Needle For A Pill
National Public Radio

Many vaccines and some medicines, such as insulin, have to be delivered by injection. That’s a pain, both for patients and for health care providers. But two groups of researchers are trying to put some of these medications in pill form to avoid the needle.

One team of scientists, from MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, developed a system to deliver insulin that actually still uses a needle — but is so small you can swallow it and the injection doesn’t hurt.

They built a pea-size device containing a spring that ejects a tiny dart of solid insulin into the wall of the stomach, says gastroenterologist Carlo Giovanni Traverso, an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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