A futuristic "robotic pill" without metal or feathers just passed its first trial against humans in February IEEE Spectrum,
The pill is said to pierce the inside of the intestinal wall with a needle filled with drugs thanks to an inflatable balloon. In the first human study, the inflatable balloon part of the design was successfully tested. However, the drug-filled needles are being tested in a second human trial.
Developed and patented by Rani Therapeutics, RaniPill has conducted 100 animal studies and has recently completed a human study. This means that one day, the way people inject drugs could be revolutionized.
Once it is swallowed and gets into the intestine, the RaniPill peel dissolves. This releases two gases that mix to produce carbon dioxide, which inflates a balloon that pushes a dissolvable needle into the intestinal wall. The design does not use springs or metal.
And no, you will not even notice it's there or inflate a balloon in your gut. Rani Therapeutics claims that unlike injections through the skin, his pill does not cause any pain and could lower the cost of injections for "most medications".
The experiments with humans consisted of 20 subjects, half of whom almost ate before swallowing the pill and half of it.
The food had little effect except the time it took to bridge the remainder of the pill. Several x-rays confirmed the position of the pill on its way through the subjects' bodies.
Inventor Mir Imran has swallowed the pill "a few times" – sometimes without water, IEEE Spectrum Reports.