A Laser-Powered Non-Surgical Implant to Treat Obesity

By: | April 9th, 2022

Image courtesy: American Chemical Society

The best way to treat obesity is to eat a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and exercise regularly. But it’s not an easy job to follow diet plans.

So scientists have come up with a new implant that treats by killing hunger-inducing cells in the stomach

A team of Korean researchers devised a technique that focused on ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates the appetite. This naturally produced hormone is released by the brain, pancreas, and small intestine. This hormone makes us feel hungry, results in increased food intake, and also promotes the storage of fat.

Researchers created a stomach implant that releases a chemical compound that reduces the activity of those cells that produce ghrelin. Unlike existing surgical weight-loss options, it is a dye-infused nonsurgical implant and is laser-activated. These implants could be inserted into the stomach through the mouth after local anesthesia.

Intra-gastric satiety-inducing device

This new type of implant is known as the “intragastric satiety-inducing device” (ISD). It consists of a stent that is non-surgically lodged in the lower esophagus. It is connected to a disk with a hole in the middle and it rests in the opening of the stomach. 

Researchers found that it could halve body weight gain after just one week of use

The small opening in that disc allows food to pass through. It is coated with an FDA-approved drug called methylene blue. Once it is exposed to the laser, it produces an energized form of oxygen that kills nearby ghrelin-producing cells. In their tests of the device on pigs, researchers found that it could halve body weight gain after just one week of use.

The study was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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