The study of a remote-controlled gastrointestinal drug delivery and sampling system

Telemed J E Health. 2008 Sep;14(7):715-9. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2007.0118.


A micromachined capsule based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology is introduced in this paper. It is an effective tool for diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal diseases. The microcapsule can carry out real-time drug release and the gastrointestinal fluid sampling in the gastrointestinal tract. According to the structural and metabolic characters of the gastrointestinal tract, the configuration of the microcapsule was designed as a cylinder. This nondigestible oral device can smoothly pass through the gastrointestinal tract for drug delivery and liquid sampling. The working mechanism of the capsule was the mechanic movement mode of a piston, which was regulated through a MEMS calorific element. The action of drug delivery and gastrointestinal fluid sampling in the gastrointestinal tract was performed wirelessly. The remote control device can be connected with a computer through a serial port (RS-232), and it can be used in telemedicine applications. Some experimental research has been carried out to validate the design. The experimental results indicated that the microcapsule can achieve drug delivery and liquid sample reliably.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • China
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems / instrumentation*
  • Microelectrodes
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • User-Computer Interface