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Bioresorbable Silicon Electronic Sensor May Monitor Brain

New device is designed to measure pressure, then dissolve, but human trials are far off

human brain

MONDAY, Jan. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An novel implant utilizing a dissolvable sensor may be able to transmit information wirelessly to physicians during surgery or after a brain injury, according to an experimental study published online Jan. 18 in Nature.

Rory Murphy, M.D., chief neurosurgery resident at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues tested a sensor the size of a pencil tip that's connected to a penny-sized transmitter.

The authors reported that in their study conducted in rats, the new device worked about as well as existing devices at measuring pressure and temperature. According to Murphy, the device wouldn't necessarily need to be bigger in humans. The material dissolves over time.

Researchers are looking for funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, which studies brain injury, to launch the next stages of laboratory testing, Murphy told HealthDay. That phase of research could take three to four years before tests in humans could begin, he said.

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