National Enquirer



ANEWLY developed drugfree implant, which provides pain relief on demand, could put a dent in the opioid crisis gripping America — and offer relief for millions living in agony! The breakthrou­gh device, which dissolves on its own like absorbable stitches, was created by a Northweste­rn University–led research team. “Although opioids are extremely effective, they are also extremely addictive,” says Northweste­rn professor John Rogers, a bioelectro­nics pioneer. Almost 70,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2020 alone, according to the CDC. “We are motivated by treating pain without drugs — in ways that can be turned on and off instantly, with user control over the intensity of relief,” says Rogers.

“The technology exploits mechanisms similar to those that cause fingers to feel numb when cold.”

As thin as a piece of paper, the flexible device — which is less than a quarter of an inch long — wraps around specific nerves to deliver precise

numbing sensations and blocks pain signals to the brain. An external pump allows the user to remotely activate the device and alter its intensity.

The implant contains multiple tiny channels. One has liquid perfluorop­entane — clinically approved as an ultrasound contrast agent and for pressurize­d inhalers. A second has dry nitrogen, an inert gas.

When the liquid and gas flow into a shared chamber, the liquid evaporates and cools the nerve — similar to how evaporatin­g sweat cools the body.

“We want to block the pain signals — not the nerves that control motor function,” says study co-author Dr. Matthew MacEwan, of St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine.

“As you cool down a nerve, the signals that travel through become slower and slower, eventually stopping completely. “By delivering a cooling effect to just one or two targeted nerves, we can modulate

region of the body.” Researcher­s believe the experiment­al device would be most valuable for patients who undergo routine operations commonly requiring postoperat­ive medication­s, with surgeons placing the implant during procedures.

 ?? ?? The device wraps around specific nerves to deliver a cooling effect
Opioids can be highly addictive
The device wraps around specific nerves to deliver a cooling effect Opioids can be highly addictive
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