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New smart chip to fight chronic body pain

Dec 21, 2010

A smart chip, INS2, developed in Australia, promises to fight chronic body pain. The chip is implanted on the target nerve to monitor and block nerve impulses carrying pain signals to the brain and can also be ‘fine-tuned’ to manage different levels of pain.

A revolutionary new smart chip, the size of a match head implanted in the spinal cord, blocks pain signals and prevents them from reaching the brain.

The tiny device works by monitoring the nerves carrying pain signals and firing electrical pulses of up to 10 volts that block the undesirable signals from reaching the brain.

The Implantable Neuro Sensing and Stimulation or INS2 was developed between 2008 and 2010 by National ICT Australia (NICTA) in Sydney. It will undergo human trials from beginning of the next year.

Existing pain-relief implants are the size of a matchbox. Researchers said their miniature version would be far more effective and reliable because it can be implanted much closer to the spine, reports IANS quoting the Daily Mail.

The tiny new implant consists of two smart chips built into a device that is sewn into a material container with integrated electronic wires, according to a NICTA statement.

The device is implanted on the target nerve such as the spinal cord and is operated by an internal computer processor run by a battery the size of a SIM card. It can be recharged wirelessly so there is no need for any external wires.

The INS2 can be 'fine-tuned' to manage different levels of pain. NICTA is planning to form a new company in Sydney, Saluda Medical, to commercialise the implant.

Source : iGovernment
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