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New little wireless device may help you lose weight

 


Scientists have developed a small wireless device that can help fight obesity and lose weight by stimulating nerve endings. This device can be inserted with a simple embedding procedure.

A research led by researchers at the University of Texas A & M has been published in Nature Communications. Gastric bypass surgery can be a last resort for people who are suffering from obesity or who have serious health-related problems due to their weight. This procedure involves creating a small stomach and rerouting the gastrointestinal tract, which is highly invasive and prolongs the patient’s recovery period.

Researchers said their centimeter-sized device provides a feeling of satiety by stimulating the ends of the vagus nerve with light. Unlike other devices that require a power cord, this wireless device can be externally controlled from a remote radio frequency source.

“We wanted to create a device that not only requires minimal surgery for transplantation, but can also stimulate specific nerve endings in the stomach,” said Dr. Son II Park, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I have.

“Our device can do both of these in harsh stomach conditions and can be very beneficial to people in the future who need dramatic weight loss surgery,” he adds. I did.

Obesity is associated with health problems and has a significant economic impact on the US healthcare system, costing US $ 147 billion annually. In addition, it puts people at risk for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers. For those with an obesity index above 35, or those with two or more obesity-related conditions, surgery not only provides patients with excessive weight loss, but also provides a way for patients to maintain weight over time. ..

In recent years, the vagus nerve has been attracting attention as a target for obesity treatment because it provides sensory information about the feeling of fullness from the inner wall of the stomach to the brain. There are medical devices that stimulate vagal nerve endings and thus help reduce hunger, but these devices are similar in design to pacemakers. In other words, the wire connected to the current source gives an electrical shock to activate the nerve tip.

“Despite the clinical benefits of having a wireless system, it currently has the ability to perform chronic, durable, cell-type-specific manipulation of neuronal activity inside other organs besides the brain. There is no device, “he said.

To address this gap, Park and his team first used genetic tools to express light-responsive genes in certain vagal nerve endings in vivo. Next, they designed a device in the shape of a small paddle and inserted a micro LED near the tip of a flexible shaft fixed to the stomach.

The head of a device, called a harvester, contained the microchip needed for the device to wirelessly communicate with an external radio frequency source. The harvester also had the ability to generate a small amount of current to power the LEDs. When the high frequency source is switched on, researchers have shown that the light from the LEDs is effective in reducing hunger.

Researchers have stated that the device can also be used to manipulate nerve endings across other organs, such as the gastrointestinal tract and intestines, with little or no modification.

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