Bioelectric Medicine: First Example
|Courtesy: Northwestern University - Bioelectric Medicine|
Pulses of Electricity to Accelerate Nerve Regeneration
Northwestern University researchers and Washington University neurosurgeons have developed the first example of bioelectric medicine. It's an implantable, biodegradable, wireless device. It speeds nerve regeneration and improves healing by pulses of electricity targeted directly at the site.
Size of a Dime
The implant is tiny. It's the size of a dime and has the thickness of a piece of paper. It delivers pulses of electricity to damaged nerves. In lab tests on post-operative animals, it proved very successful in accelerating the regeneration of nerves and enhancing the recovery of muscle strength and control.
In a week or two, the implant biodegrades, is naturally absorbed into the body and totally disappears. The next steps will be testing it on humans. The research team believes that such temporary, short term, engineered devices, applied directly to the problem site, can complement or replace regular pharma treatment for a variety of medical conditions. This breakthrough innovation was published in the journal Nature Medicine.