Implantable sand-sized sensors to monitor internal goings-on​ in real time

In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used not just for monitoring, ...

Sustainability Problem

Global Health

Technology:

Scientists have developed tiny wireless sensors they call “neural dust”, which track nerve signals and muscles in real time, opening up a wide array of potential applications that range from checking internal organs to wirelessly controlling prosthetics with your mind.

http://newatlas.com/neural-dust-wellbeing-inside/44738/

  • University of California, Berkeley, have managed to squish sensors into 1 mm cubes around the size of a large grain of sand and implanted them into the muscles and peripheral nerves of rats.
  • These cubes house piezoelectric crystals that turn ultrasound vibrations (applied from outside the body) into electricity.
  • This provides a power source for a miniature onboard transistor that rests in contact with the nerve to measure electrical activity.
  • In their current form, the researchers say the sensors could be used outside the brain not just for monitoring, but also stimulating nerves and muscles to treat things like epilepsy, inflammation or fire up the immune system.
  • Eventually, they hope to develop tinier versions that can be packed into the brain, an advance that could mean big, big things.

 

Stakeholders:

  • Human Beings
  • Medical Community
  • Patients
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Doctors
  • Electronics Industry

Implementation:

  • Test and clinical trial
  • Pilot program
  • Doctor education and socialization
  • Hospital implementation
  • Scale
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