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Electronic medicine that dissolves inside body: e-medicine

Local researchers, together with a team from the U.S., have developed a biodegradable electronic medicine made out of silicon that completely dissolves after being implanted.
 
The team says the treatment could be used to help patients with nerve damage.
Cho Sung-min reports.
 
When nerves in the hands and feet get damaged, it can lead to a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
In Korea, there are nearly ten-thousand new cases of it every year.
 
It causes pain or numbness in your hands and feet,... because the damage stops signals from your brain and spinal cord from reaching to the rest of your body.
 
Patients can feel a stabbing pain or a tickle, even from a light physical contact with others.
To treat the condition, researchers at KAIST, a local science university, worked with a team from Northwestern University... and developed an electronic medicine that restores nerve function and then dissolves automatically.
 
"The electronic medicine is made out of a special material that starts to dissolve two to four weeks after being implanted into the body."
 
Made with ultra-thin flexible silicon, the medicine provides electricity that speeds up nerve regeneration.
They are implanted in the arms.
 
e-medicine dissolves in body
 
Experts say the biodegradable e-medicine is highly efficient in treating other kind of nerve damage too, such as traumatic brain and spinal injuries.
 
Also, it's more cost-effective than other treatments.
 
"I can confidently say that there is absolutely no risk of secondary damage or side effects since the device melts away inside the body."
 
The new technique was published in an the online version the academic journal "Nature Medicine" in early November.

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