Birth Control Microchip Could Hit Market By 2018

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A new birth control microchip may be ready to hit the U.S. marketplace as early as 2018, according to MicroCHIPS, an IT startup founded by researchers at MIT. The chip holds tiny reservoirs of the contraceptive drug levonorgestrel and releases an appropriate amount of the drug every day for up to 16 years.

The company received financial backing from Bill Gates in 2012 and has since put those resources into discovering a method by which the standard 5-year birth control implant could be expanded.

"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 researchers explained.

The implant can be controlled with a wireless remote device that can only communicate with the implant at very close range.

"Then we have secure encryption," they add. "That prevents someone from trying to interpret or intervene between the communications."

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