When an obese person really needs to lose weight, gastric bypass surgery is sometimes performed – but it’s quite an invasive procedure. An experimental new implant, however, may produce similar results with much less fuss.
Developed at Texas A&M University by a team led by Asst. Prof. Sung Il Park, the “paddle-shaped” device is about 1 cm long (0.4 in). It has micro LEDs at its flexible tip, along with a coil antenna and special microchips in its base. This setup allows the device to receive incoming radio waves, which are converted to an electrical current that powers the LEDs.
In what is described as a relatively simple procedure, the implant is surgically inserted into the stomach, where it’s anchored adjacent to endings of the vagus nerve. This nerve allows the brain to communicate with various organs, including the stomach.