A team of researchers from MIT, Brigham University, and the Women’s Hospital have developed a dual-sided pill that can be used as a slow-release capsule in the gastrointestinal system. The pill is engineered based on the concept of the Janus device and has a mucoadhesive sides and an omniphobic side. The mucoadhesive attaches itself to mucosal surfaces, while the omniphobic side repels liquids and food. The mucoadhesive side of the pill is made of Carbopol, a polymer used commercially as a stabilizer/thickener, and the omniphobic side is comprised of a microtextured fluorinated cellulose acetate. Drugs can be incorporated into the cellulose acetate itself or embedded between the two layers of the pill.
The novel design of the pill allows for it to attach to the gastrointestinal system without the risk of food or water causing it to become detached. The pill’s developers see its potential in frequently-dosed pills such as antibiotics.