American scientists have developed a tiny implant the size of a human hair that can "deliver" drugs to the brain at the click of a button. A team of researchers from the University of Washington, St. Louis and the University of Illinois have demonstrated the work of the new technology in laboratory mice.
The implanted implant successfully introduces pharmacological drugs directly into the brain. During the experiment, mice were injected into the brain with dopamine, a hormone that causes feelings of pleasure, using a remote control. In the same way, they stopped the drug from entering the brain, thereby ending the euphoric effect.
“The method we have developed uses infrared technology similar to that used in TV remote controls. To influence the behavior of an animal with a specific drug, we can simply point the remote at the animal and then press a button, ”says Jordan McCall, a graduate student who participated in the trial.
The technology is still imperfect, and its use is currently limited to laboratory animals. But over time, it can be used to treat depression or epilepsy by affecting only specific parts of the human brain. A soft, tiny implant designed to be placed in the brain tissue can stay there for a long time without causing inflammation or discomfort to the patient.