Brain Implant to Deliver Drugs Using Remote Control
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis have developed a new device which is the width of a human hair and can be implanted in the brain to deliver drugs upon being triggered by a remote control. A study published in the journal Cell states that the device has been successfully implanted in mice.
This in a way paves the way for the future to treat pain, depression, epilepsy and other neurological disorders in humans by targeting specific location in brain circuits. The technique can effectively deliver therapies that are more targeted with lesser side effects. It is much more flexible than previous attempts wherein drug delivery required experimental animals to be tethered to pumps and tubes that restricted their movement. Another advantage is that the technique may offer scientists a close look at the workings of the brain.
Scientists in this case used infrared technology which makes a TV remote work. This in turn will enable them to influence an animal’s behaviour with the press of a button. During the experiment, researchers stimulated neurons which caused the mouse to move in a circle.