Oral administration of drugs cannot guarantee optimal absorption of the drug into the bloodstream. Immobilization of the drug containing capsule within the gastrointestinal tract could improve drug uptake by strategic positioning the capsule or pill. Magnetic drug containing capsules are an attractive prospected for targeted immobilization as they are easy to control externally and image with X-rays. However, the force applied by an external magnet can cause capsule to shift, damaging the surrounding tissue.
The technique described by Edith Mathiowitz and co-workers, Brown University, USA, could solve this problem. They use an external magnet which continuously monitors and adjusts the force applied to the capsule. In the study, a gelatin capsule containing a magnet was immobilized in a rat’s intestine for 12 h. The pressure applied to the intestinal wall was 1/60th of that which causes damage.