Pentagon to develop self-healing implants

24 September 2014

Pentagon is working on the possibility of giving  ordinary people the capability to heal their bodies, CBS News reported.

Under a new military-sponsored programme, the agency is developing a tiny device that could be implanted in the body, where it would use electrical impulses to monitor the body's organs, healing these crucial parts when they get infected or injured.

Known as electrical prescriptions, or ElectRx, the programme could cut dependence on pharmaceutical drugs and offer a new way to treat illnesses, according to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the branch of the US Department of Defence responsible for developing the programme.

In a statement, Doug Weber, programme manager for DARPA's biological technologies office said, "The technology DARPA plans to develop through the ElectRx program could fundamentally change the manner in which doctors diagnose, monitor and treat injury and illness."

The implant that DARPA hoped to develop was something akin to a tiny, intelligent pacemaker, according to Weber. He added, the device would be implanted into the body, where it would continually assess a person's condition and provide the required stimulus to the nerves to help maintain healthy organ function.

The technology is based on a biological process called neuromodulation, in which the peripheral nervous system (the nerves that connect every other part of the body to the brain and spinal cord) monitored the status of internal organs and regulated the responses of the body to infection and disease, PTI reported.

DARPA hopes to develop a device so tiny that it could be implanted using only a needle.

The implant would function as a tiny, intelligent pacemaker, Doug Weber, programme manager for DARPA's biological technologies office said, 'Live Science' reported.

Sickness or injury, at times causes the natural process to be thrown off, according to DARPA.

DARPA said it could keep neuromodualtion under control with the help of an electrically charged implant.

Electric impulses from the device would stimulate the nerve patterns that helped the body heal itself and keep the abnormal nerve stimulus patterns that caused a sick person even greater harm from doing damage.

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