The heating device in the implants (illustrated) has a resistor and power-receiving coil made of magnesium, and the magnesium is wrapped in 'packet' of silk, keeping it safe and controlling its dissolution time. The ability of the device to dissolve is important, as it means such implants would not need to be removed

The researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering demonstrated for the first time a dissolving electronic implant, made of silk and magnesium.

It was used to eliminate bacterial infection in mice by delivering heat to infected tissue when triggered by a remote wireless signal. The devices then harmlessly dissolved.

In vitro studies also showed the devices could kill bacteria by releasing antibiotics. Staphylococcus and Escherichia Coli bacteria were proven to be killed from such a devise and significant results are achieved.

This is an important step forward for future development of on-demand medical devices that can be turned on remotely to perform a therapeutic function, such as managing post-surgical infection, and then degrade in the body.

Each device, made of silk and magnesium, harmlessly dissolved in the animals after the tests.

The heating device in the implants has a resistor and power-receiving coil made of magnesium, and the magnesium is wrapped in 'packet' of silk, keeping it safe and controlling its dissolution time. 

The ability of the device to dissolve is important, as it means such implants would not need to be removed.

Implantable medical devices normally use non-degradable materials that have limited operational lifetimes and must eventually be removed or replaced.

But these new wireless therapy devices can handle the surgical process, and can then dissolve in minutes or weeks, depending on the time needed.

'This is an important demonstration step forward for the development of on-demand medical devices that can be turned on remotely to perform a therapeutic function in a patient and then safely disappear after their use, requiring no retrieval,' said senior author Fiorenzo Omenetto, professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts School of Engineering.

'These wireless strategies could help manage post-surgical infection, for example, or pave the way for eventual Wi-Fi drug delivery.'wifi-picture 2

References:

  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2850155/Could-Wi-Fi-used-treat-INFECTIONS-Electronic-implant-kills-bug-using-wireless-signal.html.,
  • http://www.eteknix.com/wifi-devices-used-to-treat-infections/,
  • http://www.medicaldaily.com/wi-fi-drug-delivery-uses-electronic-implants-fight-infection-312228,
  • http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/entertainment/01-Dec-2014/could-wi-fi-be-used-to-treat-infections,
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2850155/Could-Wi-Fi-used-treat-INFECTIONS-Electronic-implant-kills-bug-using-wireless-signal.html,
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2850155/Could-Wi-Fi-used-treat-INFECTIONS-Electronic-implant-kills-bug-using-wireless-signal.html.