An Electronic Implant That Drinks The Warmth of Your Blood To Cool Down Pain

Credit: Unsplash

Future pain treatment might benefit greatly from the use of pliable electronic implants. The evaporating cooler that surrounds the nerves is made from biodegradable ingredients that disintegrate in the body. The cooler prevented pain impulses from reaching the brain after being inserted in mice.

Users may one day be able to adjust the amount of pain relief they get at any given time using a future iteration. Cooler temperatures have long been known to dull nerves in the human body. In the winter, picture your fingers becoming numb from the cold.

However, recreating this phenomenon with an implanted electrical device isn’t as simple as one would think. The delicate nature of nerves necessitates the use of a supportive material. Furthermore, a perfect device would indeed be assimilated by the host, eliminating the need for any surgical removal.

Water-soluble polymers are used in the team’s gadget, which has an elastic sleeve that coils around nerve roots. Its stretchy length is riddled with tiny channels. Evaporation of the fluid coolant that flows through the passages takes warmth from the nerve. Using a thermometer, researchers can find the perfect balance between numbing the nerves while preventing them from being damaged.

A nerve was wrapped together around the rat’s paw and examined to see how it reacted to being prodded. When the nerve chiller was turned on, investigators were able to apply 7 times as much force to the animals’ limbs before they resisted. As a result, the rats’ perceptions had become dull.

It is hoped that the gadget will be utilized to alleviate post-surgical discomfort instead of long-term pain. Such a device may be able to provide focused pain treatment without the drawbacks of opioids.

Now, experts are trying to find out how much they can keep the chilling effect on without hurting the cells. Rats’ nerves were chilled in trials for as much as 15 minutes.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.