Researchers at Sydney's National ICT Australia (NICTA) have spent the past two years developing an incredibly futuristic invention which could bring relief to those who suffer from chronic pain. What it amounts to is a series of 'smart' chips inserted into biocompatible devices and strung together. These are then sewn into a very small (1.22mm wide) lead made of a polymer yarn and wires, which are then inserted into the spine. The device is them connected to a battery and computer which can measure and gather information about the pain-carrying nerves signalling the brain. The device can also respond by sending 10 volt electrical pulses to block the signals' path to the brain, tricking the brain into thinking there is no pain. There are devices such as this one already in existence, but they are much larger than this new device, and its smaller size increases accuracy as it can be implanted closer to the spine than previous models. The NICTA's device is set to go into human trials next year. Video after the break.
Chip implanted in spinal cord could help sufferers of chronic pain (video)
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