The publication Nature Methods recently wrote that a new wireless brain implant could be an effective treatment for Parkinson and other nerve-related illnesses. The invention has been discovered by researchers at the University of Stanford, who have managed to conduct the first lab experiments on mice without the use of any fiber optic cables.
Ada Poon, one of the engineers taking part in the experiment, told the press that the future of optogenetics could soon be changed thanks to the new invention they have made. Based on their declaration, the breakthrough consisted in replacing the traditional brain implants with new body powered wireless transmitters.
During the most recent experiment that researchers have conducted, a small device was implanted in mice’s legs, while scientists observed their bodies’ response to them. Results have shown that mice are much more active and their nerves have a better response than they used to with the traditional devices.
Researchers have explained that normally, the device implanted on the brain of the mouse would feature an optic fiber cable. As innovative as this implant might be for the impaired lab animals, their day to day activities were hindered by the presence of the cable. According to investigators, lab mice can move around freely in wide spaces, but they find it very hard to sleep or to cuddle with the rest of the mice in enclosed spaces.
All these past problems have now been resolved thanks to the new wireless implant. The latter no longer features a cable and it is also powered by the energy produced by the body of the mouse.
To achieve this scientific breakthrough, scientists have resorted to radio frequencies that were previously adjusted to resonate in the mouse body and remain trapped inside the cavity due to a hollowed grid. The same grid turns the body of the mouse into an energy conductor, thus, making the implanted device active at all times.
The wireless leg implant used light to act on brain nerves and allow mice to behave and move freely. The energy produced by the movements of the mice is transmitted to the device through the 2-mm coil inside it.
While still in its incipient phase, the wireless implant is expected to provide effective treatments for many health problems. The team of researchers hopes Parkinson tremors and strokes could be prevented if the brain nerves are stimulated through wireless implants.
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