Pills, eyedrops, needles are so clunky and old-school, blunt tools that wreak havoc along the way to their targets or fail to reach their targets entirely. Or, as the headline to Carolyn Johnson puts it in her Boston Globe report on new drug-delivery systems, scientists are trying to figure out how to make "pills passe."
The solutions include drug-eluting contact lenses, needle-free inoculations and ear-drug delivery systems.
Jeffrey Borenstein, a physicist at Draper Laboratory, puts it best in the Globe report: "There are a lot of very good drugs out there that are severely limited in their ability to treat disease because of side effects and compliance issues,'' Borenstein said. "People have really recognized that if one could avoid unintended toxicities and target these drugs, and do that precisely, there could be an enormous benefit to patients.''