Researchers have developed a weight loss device that could be the answer to the prayers of millions struggling to battle the bulge.
The implantable battery-free weight-loss device was created by engineers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. An experiment conducted on rats showed the device helped them shed close to 40 percent of their body weight. The tiny devices can be implanted in the body through a minimally invasive procedure. It causes gentle electric pulses from the stomach's natural churning motions and conveys them to the vagus nerve, which is a link between the brain and the stomach. This stimulation tricks the brain into believing the stomach is already full after just a few spoonfuls of food.
"One potential advantage of the new device over existing vagus nerve stimulators is that it does not require external battery charging, which is a significant advantage when you consider the inconvenience that patients experience when having to charge a battery multiple times a week for an hour or so,” Dr. Luke Funk, a surgery professor in UW–Madison’s Division of Minimally Invasive, Foregut and Bariatric Surgery, who was not involved in the study told a news portal. Another unique factor is that the device's effects are reversible. When it was removed from the rats after 12 weeks, they went back to eating as normal and even put the weight back on.
Researchers will soon be testing the device on larger animals and hope to move on to human trials if successful. Obesity has become a growing issue over the years. A 2017 study revealed almost 700 million people are obese across the globe.