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How implants powered by ultrasound can help monitor health

illustrated diagram of implantables
Illustration by Stefani Billings
Dec 4 2017
Research, Stanford, Students

The first rule of medicine is “Do no harm.” Taking this to heart, researchers are looking for ways to pinpoint and repair problems deep inside the body without the trauma of major surgery or the side effects of systemic treatments like chemotherapy

Among the alternatives being considered is the idea of planting tiny electronic devices, sometimes called electroceuticals, deep inside the body. Ideally, such implants could be placed alongside vital organs to take sensor readings, deliver tiny amounts of drugs, provide remedial jolts of electricity or combinations of the above.

But many challenges stand between concept and execution, starting with the need to deliver power to electronic implants without using wires that could introduce infections or loading up these tiny devices with bulky batteries.

Team member Marcus Weber is a 2012 Yansouni Family Fellow.

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