New generation of microimplants
They are just the size of a thumbnail, can communicate with each other, react to each other, and should make the lives of people with functional limitations easier in the future. We are talking about a new generation of interactive microimplants developed by the BMBF innovation cluster INTAKT, coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT. The miniature helpers are, for example, impulse generators for tinnitus or for functional disorders of the digestive tract and are intended to support the recovery of the hand's gripping functions.
Patients can adapt implants to their needs themselvesIn addition to communicating with each other, patients and doctors can also communicate with the implant network from outside at any time. "Via laptop or smartphone, the affected person can adjust his own implants at any time to suit his current needs and optimise the therapy or rehabilitation together with the doctor," explains Klaus-Peter Hoffmann, former head of the biomedical technology department at the Institute. This enables doctor-patient cooperation at eye level.
Initial preclinical tests and studies with test persons have shown that the INTAKT applications developed so far work. The task now is to go a long way towards transferring the development to clinical application and making it usable for patients.