Surgeons and other healthcare professionals have long wished that they had a better way to target specific areas of the body with different treatments. Many diseases are currently cured by medications that leave lingering side effects that can sometimes even prove worse than the actual problem.
Now, a research team at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital has found a technique that may pave the way to the future of localized treatments.
They have developed a way to inject a gel into a target area without affecting the rest of the body.
The method has yet to be tested on humans, but so far it proves to be effective against arthritis in mice by soothing the local joint pain associated with the disease.
"We think that this platform could be useful for multiple medical applications including the localized treatment of cancer, ocular disease and cardiovascular disease," said Jeffrey Karp, leader of the research.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis across the country and that number may rise dramatically as the baby boomer generation ages. This new treatment could be particularly beneficial for seniors looking to have a healthy retirement living, as arthritis is especially prevalent among Americans over 65.