MIT researchers create programmable device to produce biologics on the spot

A team of researchers at Massachusetts's Institute of Technology in Cambridge developed a portable production system that can immediately manufacture a variety of biopharmaceuticals, according to MIT News.

The system uses a programmable strain of yeast to produce a single dose of biologic medicine from the small device.

Biopharmaceutical drugs — used to treat a wide variety of illnesses including diabetes and cancer — are usually made in large fermentation plants and then transported to treatment sites.

Researchers believe the portable device could offer a cheaper, faster and easier method that expands access to biopharmaceutical drugs.

The MIT team said the device could help medics treat soldiers on the battlefield or allow physicians to immediately access treatments in remote or developing parts of the world.

A paper about the device was published in the journal Nature on Friday.

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