A recent project conducted by UNSW Sydney and Griffith University has resulted in a breakthrough that could introduce a more reliable and capable material into the medical device industry. The breakthrough uses silicon carbide technology to establish a longer-term electronic biotissue interface for patients who have opted for spinal cord implants. The material is known as a gap material as it fits into the class of semiconductors material and non-conducting materials, like glass. This increases the kinds of environments in which the material can be effective.
In the long term, one of the head researchers would like to see it included in treatments for chronic ailments, like Parkinson’s disease. The material can be used in a much wider range of procedures, providing both assistance in diagnosing problems and treating them. However, it is the potential that they can be used in implants that is hoped to be the most beneficial. Biofluids pose a particularly unique challenge to implants, and this new material is hoped to provide the kind of resistance to corrosion and other problems that pose a risk to patients’ health when they get implants made of other materials.
The researchers were able to demonstrate the way the material worked when used in several types of sensors and stimulators, with an eye on hopefully using them in many different types of medical devices later, such as pacemakers. The fact that the material is soft yet durable gives it an edge in offering longer-term solutions. Ultimately, it is hoped that it will be something that can be used in neural stimulation, working as a deep brain stimulator for some of the most difficult diseases to treat.
Technology has a lot of interesting potential, and this is just one of the most recent ways that technology can help improve some of the most complicated procedures. To learn more, you can check out the full article at Ultra-thin Tough Implantable Material Could Treat Spinal Cord Injury.
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