University of British Columbia researchers have developed a magnetic drug implant that could offer an alternative for patients struggling with numerous pills or intravenous injections. The device, a silicone sponge with magnetic carbonyl iron particles wrapped in a round polymer layer, measures just six millimeters in diameter. The drug is injected into the device and then surgically implanted in the area being treated. Passing a magnet over the patient’s skin activates the device by deforming the sponge and triggering the release of the drug into surrounding tissue through a tiny opening. Actively controlling drug delivery is particularly relevant for conditions like diabetes, where the required dose and timing of insulin varies from patient to patient.