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Monday, August 15, 2022
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Reaching Beyond All Limits

As we know, a human skill-set is made up from a lot of different elements, but if we are being honest, none are really more significant than our ability to find solutions. This ability, in particular, enables us big time in terms of progressing on a rather consistent basis, and that, in turn, does a lot to make us eligible for some significant milestones along the way. Now, while there are a host of examples through which we can back the said statement up, we cannot have such a conversation without mentioning technology. The reason why technology gets to be a mainstay is because, unlike all the other concepts, it was successful in impacting each and every area across our spectrum. This includes the highly-critical sector of healthcare. In fact, the creation’s foray into healthcare couldn’t have arrived at a better time, as the sector was really struggling on the back of an outright obsolete structure, so having all those tech-driven methods gave it a much-needed boost. However, even after getting the stated break, the famous medtech linkup will continue to deliver the goods, and a recent development should only further that trend moving forward.

The researching team at University of California San Diego has successfully developed a neural probe, which is designed to make implantation technology more universal by tapping into areas where normal devices cannot reach. As per certain reports, the probe is built upon two separate channels i.e. electrical and optical channel, a feature that allows it to record electrical activity from neurons, along with stimulating neurons using light. Going back to the size for a second, the device is literally smaller than a human hair. This gives us a chance to use it in areas such as small peripheral nerves or even the small gap between vertebrae and into the spinal cord itself, while also ensuring longevity and unmatched convenience. The researchers have already tested the technology on mice, and if we put our stock in the available details, they were able to observe the desired function for as long as a month.

When quizzed about the device, Axel Nimmerjahn, a researcher involved in the study, offered an important tidbit by giving an example of our little knowhow regarding the spinal cord health.

“Currently, we know relatively little about how the spinal cord works, how it processes information, and how its neural activity might be disrupted or impaired in certain disease conditions,” said Nimmerjahn. “It has been a technical challenge to record from this dynamic and tiny structure, and we think that our probes and future probe arrays have the unique potential to help us study the spinal cord — not just understand it on a fundamental level, but also have the ability to modulate its activity.”

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