3/22/16 A wireless system was developed that uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. This technology paves the way for new “electroceutical” devices to treat illness or alleviate pain. This could alleviate bulky batteries and recharging systems that prevent medical devices from being more widely used. It could also provide a path toward a new type of medicine that allows physicians to treat diseases with electronics rather than drugs. It could also spawn a new generation of programmable microimplants – sensors to monitor vital functions deep inside the body; electrostimulators to change neural signals in the brain; and drug delivery systems to apply medicines directly to affected areas. It also has created the potential to develop “electroceutical” treatments as alternatives to drug therapies. These treatments could be more effective than drugs for some disorders because electroceutical approaches would use implantable devices to directly modulate activity in specific brain circuits. Drugs, by comparison, act globally throughout the brain.
This discovery involves a new way to control electromagnetic waves inside the body. Electromagnetic waves pervade the universe. We use them every day when we broadcast signals from giant radio towers, cook in microwave ovens or use an electric toothbrush that recharges wirelessly in a special cradle next to the bathroom sink. There was a clear divide between the two main types of electromagnetic waves in everyday use, called far-field and near-field waves. What this discovery did was to blend the safety of near-field waves with the reach of far-field waves. A power source was designed that generated a special type of near-field wave. When this special wave moved from air to skin, it changed its characteristics in a way that enabled it to propagate – just like the sound waves through the train track.
This amazing discovery has opened the doors to many areas of technology and could greatly improve our lives in many ways. Micro medical devices are the wave of the future, you can see more micro devices on our web page: