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MIT researchers have developed a pretzel-shaped device designed to treat interstitial cystitis, a bladder disease noted for causing frequent and painful urination predominantly in women, the MIT News Office reported Monday.

Current treatment of the disease requires repeated lidocaine infusions through a catheter. The MIT researchers – Heejin Lee and Michael Cima – are using a lidocaine-filled silicon tube that shapes itself into a pretezel after being inserted in the bladder. The drug is steadily released over two weeks, which the researchers noted is generally long enough to treat a flare-up of interstitial cystitis.

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