Australian scientists are developing a tiny device which treats chronic pain by blocking the pain signals sent to the brain.
The INS2 device, which consists of smart chips and a power source, can be placed in the spine or other locations inside the body, where it can be fine tuned to help block chronic pain.
When the device is implanted inside the body, the chips emit up to 10 volt electric pulse into the target nerve, to disrupt the pain signals and so the patient experiences less pain.
The device will also be capable of measuring signals carried by the nerves, allowing it to be fine-tuned to manage various levels of pain.
According to the researchers, the device can be used to treat chronic back, lower limb or nerve damage pain, and can also be used to manage migraine headaches or improve control of Parkinson’s Disease tremors or epileptic seizures.
The technology is being developed by Sydney-based National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the researchers are planning to conduct human trials of the device in the next year.