Freiburg researchers develop new method for lowering high blood pressure without side effects
High blood pressure is the greatest health risk worldwide behind smoking and alcohol consumption. In Germany, around 25 percent of the population suffers from arterial hypertension, as the condition is referred to in medical circles. The microsystems engineers Dr. Dennis Plachta and Prof. Dr. Thomas Stieglitz from the Laboratory of Biomedical Microtechnology at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the University of Freiburg teamed up with the neurosurgeons Dr. Mortimer Gierthmühlen and Prof. Dr. Josef Zentner from the Medical Center – University of Freiburg to develop a new cuff equipped with electrodes that can lower blood pressure without causing side effects.
The cuff is equipped with electrodes that can lower blood pressure without causing side effects. Source: IMTEK
Doctors usually prescribe drugs against high blood pressure. In around 35 percent of patients, however, pills do not succeed in reducing blood pressure in the long term. Chronic high blood pressure leads to damage in other organs – the eyes, kidneys, the heart, and the central nervous system, in particular. In order to help patients whose blood pressure cannot be reduced by means of drugs, the Freiburg researchers propose implanting a newly developed cuff with 24 electrodes in the so-called vagal nerve on the neck. The device starts by determining which electrode is closest to the nerve fibers that transmit the blood pressure signal. Then it uses electrostimulation to overwrite the information in these fibers with such precision that other bundles of fibers with other functions are not affected. The researchers have named this procedure for individual analysis, selection, and stimulation “BaroLoopTM.”
The scientists tested the device on rats and succeeded in lowering their mean blood pressure by 30 percent, without causing side effects such as a reduced heart rate or a drastic decrease in respiratory rate. The findings of the study have been published in the Journal of Neural Engineering.
The idea for the research project originated in 2004 within the context of the establishment of the Peter Osypka Endowed Chair in Neuroelectronic Systems at the Department of Neurosurgery. Now that the scientists have determined that a cuff with electrodes is feasible in principle, they have begun to develop a completely implantable system. As such a device is classed as an active implant that must fulfill the highest level of safety standards according to medical product laws, they do not expect to produce a licensed product for at least ten years.
“Blood pressure control with selective vagal nerve stimulation and minimal side effects” (D T T Plachta et al. 2014 Journal of Neural Engineering 11 036011).
Melanie Hübner | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate
21.02.2017 | Radiological Society of North America
Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery
17.02.2017 | Children's National Health System
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences