Scientists develop the world’s first bioelectronic medicine

Scientists have developed the first bioelectronic medicine an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve. Researchers at the Washington University in the US developed a device that delivers regular pulses of electricity to damaged peripheral nerves in rats after a surgical repair process, accelerating the regrowth of nerves in their legs and enhancing the ultimate recovery of muscle strength and control. The technology, called “bioelectronic medicine,” provides therapy and treatment over a clinically relevant period of time and directly at the site where it’s needed, thereby reducing side-effects or risks associated with conventional, permanent implants. While the device has not been tested in humans.

The researchers designed and developed a thin, flexible device that wraps around an injured nerve and delivers electrical pulses at selected time points for days before the device harmlessly degrades in the body. The device is powered and controlled wirelessly by a transmitter outside the body that acts much like a cellphone-charging mat.

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  • Scientists have developed the first bioelectronic medicine.
  • It speeds nerve regeneration and improves the healing of a damaged nerve.
  • It is developed by Researchers at the Washington University in the US.
  • It delivers regular pulses of electricity to damaged peripheral nerves in rats after a surgical repair process.
  • It also accelerates the regrowth of nerves in their legs and enhancing the ultimate recovery of muscle strength and control.
  • Provides therapy and treatment over a clinically relevant period of time and directly at the site where it’s needed.
  • The device is powered and controlled wirelessly by a transmitter outside the body that acts much like a cellphone-charging mat.
  • Electrical stimulation was better than none at all at helping the rats recover muscle mass and muscle strength.

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Bioelectronic medicine

Bioelectronic medicine is a new approach to treat and diagnose disease and injury. All major organs of the body are innervated, allowing the brain to both monitor and regulate organ function. Such devices are already in clinical trials to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and colitis.

They used the device to provide one hour per day of electrical stimulation to the rats for one, three or six days or no electrical stimulation at all, and then monitored their recovery for the next 10 weeks. The researchers found that any electrical stimulation was better than none at all at helping the rats recover muscle mass and muscle strength.

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