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Science 08 Aug 2016 Implantable sand gra ...

Implantable sand grain sized sensor to monitor health internally

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 8, 2016, 1:07 pm IST
Updated Aug 8, 2016, 1:07 pm IST
The sensor is merely 3mm long and 1mm wide and goes by the name of “neural dust.”
(Credit: Ryan Neely)
 (Credit: Ryan Neely)

Scientists have built the first dust-sized sensor that can be implanted in the body to monitor internal nerves, muscles and organs. It is a wireless, battery-less implantable sensor developed by engineers at The University of California, Berkeley. Sensor is merely 3mm long and 1mm wide and goes by the name of “neural dust.”

The purpose of this sensor is to improve brain-control of robotic devices such as prosthetic arms or legs, thereby; avoiding wires that go through the brain. "Having access to in-body telemetry has never been possible because there has been no way to put something supertiny superdeep," says Michel Maharbiz, one of the study's co-authors. "But now I can take a speck of nothing and park it next to a nerve or organ, your GI tract or a muscle, and read out the data."

 

The team even conducted an experiment by implanting the sensors in the muscles and peripheral nerve of rats. Once implanted in the rats, ultrasound was used both to power the sensors and read out the measurements. The findings of this experiment were published in the Neuron journal.

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