College Station, Texas – For Individuals struggling with infertility, surgery is sometimes the only answer to avoiding serious health problems. However, gastric bypass surgery is a serious procedure that transforms the digestive tract ունի has a long recovery time. New research shows that there may be a better way to help people achieve weight loss using only light. Researchers at Texas A&M University say they have developed a wireless device that stimulates the nerves and makes the patient feel full.
The team notes that the small implant uses light to stimulate the extremities of the vagus nerve in the stomach. This causes the nerve to send a signal of fullness so that the patient does not want to overeat. Such devices work like a pacemaker և you need a power cord to work. The authors of the study say that their invention can survive from the acids of the digestive system, which responds to long-range radio frequency signals.
“We wanted to create a device that not only requires minimal surgery for implantation, but also allows us to stimulate the special nerve endings in the stomach,” said Sung Il Park, an associate professor in electrical engineering and computer engineering. “Our device can do both of these things in severe stomach conditions, which can be extremely helpful in the future for people who need major weight loss surgeries.”
Why choose weight loss surgery?
Researchers note that people over the age of 35 who have a body mass index, classified as obese regardless of age, or people with at least two obesity-related illnesses need surgery. They enhance weight loss procedures that offer the patient immediate relief and help with long-term weight control.
Recently, scientists have increasingly targeted the vagus nerve when it comes to weight loss. This is because the nerve is responsible for telling the brain when the gastric mucosa is filling up. Current devices aimed at the wandering nerve use electric shocks to activate the feeling of satiety, to suppress hunger.
Park says the new device could make the process much more comfortable for the patient by removing the wires using the latest genetic-optical equipment.
“Despite the clinical benefits of having a wireless system, no device has yet been able to chronically manipulate cells inside any organ other than the brain,” explains Park.
Use of light to stop hunger
During the laboratory experiment, the Park team first identified genes that respond to light treatment in the extremities of specific vagus nerves for weight control. They then attached their small paddle device to their stomachs. The wireless device has micro-LED lights in its flexible tail that stretch the nerves. The head of the device (or collector) contains microchips that receive the wireless signal, turn on the LEDs.
To the surprise of the research team, they found that the general belief that hunger suppression works is not entirely accurate. The common misconception is that when the stomach is full, it expands, այս this information about the stomach stretching flows to the brain through the vagus nerve.
“Our findings suggest that stimulation of non-stretch receptors that respond to food chemicals can also cause satiety, even when the stomach is not full,” says Park.
In addition to helping the stomach, the Texas team adds that their device can also manipulate the nerves of other organs in the gastrointestinal tract in small doses.
“The discovery of wireless optogenetics ծայր the discovery of peripheral neural pathways that control appetite is of great interest in both applied and core areas of electronics, materials science, and neuroscience research,” Park concludes. “Our new tool now allows us to interrogate the function of neurons in the peripheral nervous system in a way that was impossible with existing approaches.”
The study appears in the journal Nature communications.