New-Tech: WiFi Signal Can Treat a Disease


Researchers have developed a method to activate electronic implants in the body and eliminate bacterial infections using a wireless signal.


When triggered by remote technology, the gadget delivers heat to infected tissue.


And it could lead to technologies that enable drugs and treatment to be delivered to patients at the press of a button.


The technology was developed by researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts and the University of Illinois.


Mice were given electronic implants that,when a signal was sent, heated up to treat tissue that was infected with staphylococcus, or staph, which can cause minor skin abscesses orlife-threatening infections of the blood.


Tissues collected from the mice 24 hours after treatment showed no sign of the infection, while the device dissolved in 15 days, proving it can not only treat infections but also be disposed of easily.


The research, which also eliminated E. colibacteria, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Each device, made of silk and magnesium,harmlessly dissolved in the animals after the tests.


The heating device in the implants has are sistor and power-receiving coil made of magnesium, and the magnesium is wrapped in ‘packet’ of silk, keeping it safe and controlling its dissolution time.


The ability of the device to dissolve is important, as it means such implants would not need to be removed.


Implantable medical devices normally use non-degradable materials that have limited operational lifetimes and must eventually be removed or replaced.


But these new wireless the rapy devices can handle the surgical process, and can then dissolve in minutes or weeks,depending on the time needed.


“This is an important demonstration step forward for the development of on-demand medical devices that can be turned on remotely to perform a the rapeutic function in a patient and then safely disappear after their use, requiring no retrieval,” said senior author Fiorenzo Omenetto, professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts School of Engineering.


“These wireless strategies could help manage post-surgical infection, for example, or pave the way for eventual Wi-Fidrug delivery.”


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