A Lighter Flow

Bioelectronic medicine appears to have a much brighter future than expected due a new discovery.  This LED implant uses light in order to control the nerves cells of the bladder, and therefore, better control it.

The implant uses a unique technique best known as optogenetics, which uses light to control nerve cells.  Millions of people struggle with bladder control issues, and this could offer a solution.  Research on mice has found that those with medically induced overactive bladders in fact found a decrease in their pee frequency after having been implanted with the light device.

Nearly 33 million Americans have overactive bladders and traditional methods such as stimulating the bladder nerves through implants. However in many cases these shock more than just the targeted area, and require visits to the doctor on a regular basis, as well as an external battery pack.

This new implant offers an improved version of these other methods since it can be charged wirelessly. The light in the device also knows to stimulate only the specific nerve cells of the bladder, and also only when truly needed.

In order to use the light, a harmless virus must be injected, which produced a light activated protein. There is then a sensor around the bladder which tracks how often the user urinates, and if its more than three times per hour, then the light stimulates the protein in the bladder nerve and it stops all the full bladder signals.

Of course more long term studies need to be conducted before it can really be used on humans, but so far the results found based on mice seem to be truly promising.

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