Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who were led by Dr Xudong Wang, have created a 1cm device that attaches to the stomach and tells the brain it is full via gentle zaps of electricity. It becomes activated when the stomach naturally starts churning food during digestion. This dupes the brain into thinking the stomach is full after just a few mouthfuls of food. “It’s automatically responsive to our body function, producing stimulation when needed,” says Wang. “Our body knows best.”
How device works
During tests, this device reduced food consumption by a third and caused subjects to lose 38 per cent of their body weight after just 15 days. Unlike an existing implant called Maestro, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US in 2015, the new device does not require bulky batteries that have to be frequently changed. The newly-created device also has no electronics or complicated wiring It was tested on rats. The animals started at an average weight of 250g. Their weight and food intake was then measured every other day for all 93 days of the experiment. The new device showed no safety concerns. researchers hope to test it in larger animal models before moving on to humans. ‘Our expectation is the device will be more effective and convenient to use than other technologies,’ Dr Wang said. Obesity affects around 93.3million adults only in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.