Welcome to the Age of Electroceuticals
I like to focus on the latest developments in sinus surgery and sinus symptoms, but every once in a while a general science story proves too difficult to resist. In this case it is a new breakthrough in medical technology: tiny, implantable electronics that dissolve harmlessly into the body, known as electroceuticals.
Crafted on an invisible scale out of materials such as silk, silicon and magnesium, these tiny circuits can eventually be tuned to perform any number of tasks, from providing targeted current to heating a selected area – or even individual cells.
This last application is the real watershed part of this story, as it has long been known that focused heat can defeat any bacteria – even those which have developed resistance to the most powerful antibiotics. If an electroceutical implant could be designed to target specific chemical signatures or surface proteins, it would herald the dawn of a new age in fighting infections.
Of course we’re a long way off from that today. Still, the salient details have already been worked out – a recent proof of concept experiment involved warming sections of mouse anatomy with no collateral side effects. Powered remotely by radio waves, these are truly contained devices which can effectively be instructed to disappear when needed.
Is it possible that one day biofilms and other sinus ailments will eventually fall to electroceuticals as we learn to move beyond the diminishing returns of antibiotic treatment? Stay tuned.