Intellidrug Medication Dispensing Tooth

IntelliDrug is an IST Program project to develop a device for controlled drug delivery that is the size of a tooth (it may be as large as several molars). The IntelliDrug device would be implanted in the mouth of a patient, where it could provide regular, measured doses of medication.

The IntelliDrug micro-system will consist of the following elements:

  • a medication release mechanism
  • built-in microprocessor for decision-making and dosage program
  • micro-sensors capable of determining concentration of selected medications in the blood stream.
  • micro-actuators to release standard quantities of medication
  • a reservoir for selected medications
The IntelliDrug device will work with a remote control to inform the patient and physician if the drug container needs to be refilled.


(IntelliDrug diagram)

The IntelliDrug system reminds me of the gas-dispensing tooth from Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune. The situation in the novel is complicated; suffice it to say that Dr. Yueh has prepared a means of dispensing a poison gas from an exact duplicate of a tooth.

That peg tooth I put in your mouth after the tumble at Narcal--that tooth must be replaced, in a moment, I'll render you unconscious and replace that tooth." He opened his hand, stared at something in it. "An exact duplicate, its core shaped most exquisitely like a nerve. It'll escape the usual detectors, even a fast scanning. But if you bite down hard on it, the cover crushes.
(Read more about the dispensing tooth)

Not quite the same, since Herbert's idea is obviously for a single-use sytem. But it's still a drug-dispensing tooth.

Take a look at these other medical inventions with a science fiction connection:

Read more about the Tooth implant 'to release drugs'; see also the IntelliDrug website. Thanks to Zac Hunter and Ja Thavia for suggesting this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/27/2007)

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