The BMGF has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to provide this wireless device meant to make contraception “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 reproductive life.”
Robert Farra, president of MCHPS said: “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.
Development 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.
Levonorgestrel, a.k.a Mirena, is an intrauterine contraception and synthetic hormone used for women who are undergoing treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding.
Known adverse effects of the pharmaceutical are:
• Intermentrual bleeding
• Abdominal/pelvic pain
• Ovarian cysts
• Extreme dizziness
• Vaginal sores
• Pain during sexual intercourse
• Sudden numbness on one side of the body
• Weight gain
• Puffiness of the face, hands, ankles and feet
• Severe/migraine headaches
• Altered states of mood
Levonorgestrel is commonly used in many on-the-market birth control methods as an ingredient in pills and other contraceptive implants.