New Tiny Wireless device can help with weight loss

Scientists have developed a small, wireless device that can help fight obesity and reduce body weight by stimulating nerve endings. This device can be inserted using a simple implantation procedure.

Scientists have developed a small, wireless device that can help fight obesity and reduce body weight by stimulating nerve endings. This device can be inserted using a simple implantation procedure. A study by researchers at Texas A&M University was published in Nature Communications, Stomach reduction surgery is sometimes the last resort for those who are obese or have serious health problems due to their weight. As this procedure involves making a small gastric pouch and redirecting the digestive tract, it is highly invasive and prolongs the recovery period of patients.

The researchers said their centimeter device provides a feeling of fullness by stimulating vague nerve endings with light. Unlike other devices that require a power cord, this wireless device can be controlled externally from a remote radio source. “We wanted to create a device that not only required minimal surgery for implantation, but also allowed us to stimulate specific nerve endings in the stomach,” said Dr. Sung II Park, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering. electrical and IT.

Small wireless device lights up the fight against obesity

“Our device has the potential to do both of these things under adverse gastric conditions, which in the future could be of tremendous benefit to people who need dramatic weight loss surgery,” he said. he adds. Obesity is associated with health problems and has a significant economic impact on the health care system in the United States, which costs $ 147 billion per year. Plus, it puts people at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even some types of cancer. For those with a body mass index over 35 or who have two or more obesity-related conditions, surgery offers a way for patients to not only lose weight, but also maintain weight for the long term. .

In recent years, the vagus nerve has received a lot of attention as a target for the treatment of obesity, as it provides sensory information about fullness, from the lining of the stomach to the brain. While there are medical devices that can stimulate vague nerve endings and, therefore, help reduce hunger, these devices are similar in design to a pacemaker, that is, the wires connected to a current source provide electric shocks to activate the pacemaker. nervous ends. “Despite the clinical advantage of having a wireless system, no device, as yet, has the capacity to do a chronic and lasting manipulation of neuronal activity in an organ other than the brain”, a- he declared.

To fill this gap, Park and his team first used genetic tools to express genes that respond to light at specific vague nerve endings in vivo. Then they designed a tiny shovel-shaped device and inserted micro LEDs near the tip of its flexible rod, which was attached to the stomach. At the head of the device, called a harvester, they housed the microchips necessary for the device’s wireless communication with an external radio frequency source. The harvester was also equipped to produce tiny currents to power the LEDs. When the radio frequency source was turned on, the researchers showed that the LED light was effective in suppressing hunger.

The researchers said the device can also be used to manipulate nerve endings throughout the gastrointestinal tract and other organs, such as the gut, with little to no change. (ANI)

Small wireless device lights up the fight against obesity

Stomach reduction surgery is sometimes the last resort for anyone who is obese or has serious health problems due to weight. As this procedure involves making a small gastric pouch and redirecting the digestive tract, it is highly invasive and prolongs the recovery period of patients. In a new study, researchers at Texas A&M University have described a medical device that can help with weight loss and requires a simpler surgical procedure for implantation.

The researchers said their centimeter device provides a feeling of fullness by stimulating vague nerve endings with light. Unlike other devices that require a power cord, your device is wireless and can be controlled externally from a remote radio source.

For those with a body mass index over 35 or who have two or more obesity-related conditions, surgery offers a way for patients to not only lose weight, but also maintain weight for the long term. . In recent years, the vagus nerve has gained attention as a target in the treatment of obesity because it provides sensory information about fullness from the lining of the stomach to the brain. While there are medical devices that can stimulate vague nerve endings and therefore help reduce hunger, these devices are similar in design to a pacemaker, with wires connected to a current source providing electric shocks to activate. nerve ends.

Park said wireless technology, along with the application of advanced genetic and optical tools, has the potential to make nerve stimulation devices less annoying and more comfortable for the patient.

To fill this gap, Park and his team first used genetic tools to express genes that respond to light at specific vague nerve endings in vivo. Then they designed a tiny shovel-shaped device and inserted micro LEDs near the tip of its flexible rod, which was attached to the stomach. At the head of the device, called a harvester, they housed the microchips necessary for the device’s wireless communication with an external radio frequency source. The harvester was also equipped to produce tiny currents to power the LEDs. When the radio frequency source was turned on, the researchers showed that the LED light was effective in suppressing hunger.

The researchers said they were surprised to find that the biological machinery that coordinated the suppression of hunger in their experiments was different from conventional wisdom. It is widely believed that when the stomach is full, it expands, and information about the stretch is transmitted to the brain by mechanoreceptors in the vagus nerve.

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