The Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation (BMGF)
have invested $4.6 million in
a remote controlled medical device that will be implanted into a
human to control fertility.
The BMGF has
partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) to provide this wireless device meant to make
"convenient for women… [because]
it can be deactivated without a trip to the clinic and an
outpatient procedure, and it would last nearly half their
Robert Farra, president of MCHPS
"The idea of using a thin
membrane like an electric fuse was the most challenging and
the most creative problem we had to solve."
The remote controlled contraceptive called the
Driving Intelligent Drug Delivery (DIDD) is expected to be
implanted in an individual for 16 years and could be disabled
when conception is wanted via remote control.
of the DIDD contraceptive is slated to
begin human trials in 2015 because of the financial backing
by the BMGF.
One purpose of this remote controlled contraceptive is to use
the device in under-developed nations such as Pakistan and
regions in Africa to ensure that population control is achieved.
According to MIT:
"The idea for the device originated two
years ago in a visit by Bill Gates and his colleagues to Robert
Langer's MIT lab. Gates and his colleagues asked Langer if it
were feasible to create birth control that a woman could turn on
and off and use for many years.
Langer thought the controlled
release microchip technology he invented with colleagues Michael Cima and John Santini in the 1990s and licensed to MicroCHIPS
might offer a solution."
This device is under current application processes with the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hoped for commercial
sales by 2018.
This microchip, a small as the tip of a finger, could be
placed under the skin of the buttocks, upper arm or abdomen and
will deliver a daily dose of the contraceptive levonorgestrel.
Mirena, is an intrauterine
contraception and synthetic hormone used for women who are
undergoing treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding.
adverse effects of the pharmaceutical are:
Pain during sexual intercourse
Sudden numbness on one side of the body
Puffiness of the face, hands, ankles and feet
Altered states of mood
Levonorgestrel is commonly used in many on-the-market birth
control methods as an ingredient in pills and other