A recent article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) highlighted the potentially groundbreaking benefits of electronic medical implants that break down in the body instead of having to be surgically removed. The materials have been tested in animals, and soon could be tested in human clinical trials.
The article highlighted John Rogers, PhD — a Northwestern researcher who has developed many sensors for medical testing — and also featured Colin Franz, MD, PhD, physician-scientist, who is collaborating with Dr. Rogers on implantable electrical stimulation devices for nerve regeneration.
Dr. Franz provided his perspective on the process of shepherding implantable devices through FDA approval — especially when some of the technology used has not ever been tested before.
“There’s an inherent lag to getting from a new material or new device to being able to do a clinical trial,” said Dr. Franz. But, if there aren’t any materials already out there that do what you need them to do, he said, “then that’s worth pushing the boundaries on, even if it’s going to take longer.”
C&EN is a publication of the American Chemical Society.