Incorporating Light-Sensitive Hydrogel Into Medical Devices

To treat, identify, or keep track of GI disorders, a variety of medical devices can be inserted into the gastrointestinal system. Once they have completed their task, many of these must be removed through invasive surgery. Engineers have now devised a method to cause the internal decomposition of such devices when they are subjected to light from an ingestible LED. The experts’ newly developed light-sensitive hydrogel is the foundation of the new method. The researchers claim that incorporating this material into medical devices could prevent many endoscopic procedures and provide physicians with a quicker and easier way to remove devices when they are no longer required or are not operating as intended.

To trigger the disassembly of devices in the GI tract without needing a major procedure, researchers are working to create various systems that can reside in the gastrointestinal tract.

The scientists demonstrated in a pig study that devices created with this light-sensitive hydrogel can degrade when exposed to blue or ultraviolet light from a tiny LED.

The researchers investigated a light-based trigger in this study because they thought it might have advantages over their previous methods. Light can act at a distance and doesn’t have to come in contact with the material being broken down, which is one possible benefit. 

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