IIT-KGP to develop battery-free implantable medical devices

IIT-KGP to develop battery-free implantable medical devices

The IIT Kharagpur has set up a Bioelectronics Innovation Laboratory to develop futuristic battery-free implantable medical devices.

These devices are meant for treatment of brain, nerve, muscle or spinal cord disorders that are untreatable by using standard medical practices, an IIT KGP statement said today.

Bioelectronics is a new field in engineering that is yet to make its mark in India.

Bioelectronic devices generally target to restore missing neural functions, while utilising energy efficient engineering systems, the statement said.

“We aim to implant coin-sized electronic chips with wireless energy supply…. These chips will solve neural connectivity problems that are otherwise not addressed by latest medical sciences,” the statement quoted Prof Sudip Nag from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering as saying.

Nag is heading this initiative at IIT Kharagpur.

While standard pace-makers require a surgery – every 5 to 10 years – due to limited battery-life, the new solutions depend on wireless power transfer and intelligent communication schemes, the statement said.

“This will enhance the life of implants and reduce the number of surgical interventions,” Nag said.

The present line of research targets blindness, limb paralysis, sensory-motor dysfunction, cognition-loss, Parkinsons tremor, epileptic seizures and memory-loss.

These devices will be able to sense bio-signals, process information to make intelligent decisions and control diseased organs by electrical methods, Nag said adding that these devices will be highly affordable and reliable medical.

The institute is in the process of setting up collaborations with several hospitals and institutes in the country and abroad.

Besides, the laboratory will open new career avenues in incubating companies for production and marketing and also create an international supply base for medical devices giants like Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Advanced Bionic, Second Sight and Saint Judes Medical, Nag said.

“We are looking forward to technology licensing and commercialisation of bioelectronic devices that are being developed in this laboratory,” he said.