A group of researchers in the university of the Washington University have released a new study and a new device that have the width of a human hair, the device can be implanted inside the brain to help delivering drugs to specific areas in order to achieve specific and complicated treatments.
researchers at the Washington University School said that this invention could treat depression, pain and many other problems by targeting therapies to specific brain circuits. Michael R Bruchas, an associate professor of anesthesiology and neurobiology at of Washington University said: “In the future, it should be possible to manufacture therapeutic drugs that could be activated with light”
How it works
The device was first tested on a mice to bring the drug to a specific brain region, the implant was activated by light which leads to activating the brain cells, so it is like using a remote control for your TV, pressing a button will let the device respond via an infra-red connection, Jordan G McCall, a graduate student in the Bruchas lab said: “Now, we literally can deliver drug therapy with the press of a button”, “We’ve designed it to exploit infrared technology, similar to that used in a TV remote. If we want to influence an animal’s behaviour with light or with a particular drug, we can simply point the remote at the animal and press a button”
Jae-Woong Jeong, a former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois also added: “The device embeds microfluid channels and microscale pumps, but it is soft like brain tissue and can remain in the brain and function for a long time without causing inflammation or neural damage”
When directly aiming the lights to the brain cells of the mice, the experiment made the mice feel good by releasing the dopamine neurotransmitter! the same hormone that we release when we feel happy, or when we drink beer 😉 , delivering the drugs to a specific brain areas, also made the mice moving and turning in circles.
So how this can affect humans, let us know if you’re worried from brain, feelings and actions control!