Medical technology innovations have improved patients’ lives, especially with electronic devices implanted in the body. However, there have been technical constraints in using these devices long-term. A research team has now developed electrostatic materials that can function with weak ultrasound, creating the possibility of permanent implantable electronic devices in medicine. This could help patients avoid periodic surgeries for battery replacement and reduce physical and economic burdens. The team used a composite of high dielectric polymers and a high dielectric constant ceramic material to create the electrostatic material. They then created an implantable neurological stimulator powered by ultrasound-based energy transmission, eliminating the need for batteries. The device was tested in animal trials and effectively helped mitigate symptoms related to abnormal urination. The researchers hope this technology will lead to the emergence of a new medical industry for treating intractable diseases using implantable devices. The research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Ministry of Science and ICT, along with Yonsei Fellowship.
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