Scientists create a new biodegradable implantable cooling analgesic device that can wrap nerves
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Its principle is to paralyze related nerves through a so-called “cooling effect”, so as to completely block the pathway that transmits pain signals to the brain.
Study co-author Matthew MacEwan of Washington University School of medicine in St. Louis said in a statement:
When you cool the nerves, the signals transmitted through them will slowly freeze and eventually stop completely. By freezing only oneortwo target nerves, pain signals in a specific area of the body can be effectively regulated.
Even better, once the mission is completed, the implant materials can also be naturally dissolved in the body like absorbable sutures without subsequent surgical removal. In addition, patients can remotely adjust the intensity of pain relief (i.e. cooling) according to their personal needs.
John A. Rogers of the McCormick School of engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University, who was responsible for the development of the device, added: “excessive cooling can damage nerves and their surrounding fragile tissues, so the duration and temperature of cooling must be accurately controlled.”.
As for the principle of the cooling mechanism, it is because the device is embedded with microfluidic channels. These pipelines supporting high-precision regulation can make the liquid wrapped in them cooperate to produce the cooling and analgesic effect of nerve paralysis. Compared with other analgesic schemes, such as injecting coolant into the body through a needle or taking addictive opioids, this remotely and accurately adjustable microfluidic control method can significantly reduce the risk of potential side effects.
The CDC of the United States pointed out in its report that it is estimated that 100306 people lost their lives due to drug overdoses in 2021, and 75673 of them died of opioids.
In the past 21 years, opioids have easily caused more than 500000 deaths. And since 2013, the death toll has increased sharply.
Finally, for details of this study, please move to the journal Science published on June 30, 2022.