GlaxoSmithKline All Set with Electric Pulse Generator Implantable Devices


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), sets the stage ready to frame implantable devices that will work as an electric pulse generator once implanted into the body. The device will be a signal recording electronic device placed on peripheral nerve endings in order to send impulse to the specific organs (kidneys, spleen) which can treat various long term diseases (hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, asthma and arthritis). The device would be smart enough to record the data and to generate impulse only when required.

GSK is planning to start the clinical trials by 2017 focusing to resolve chronic diseases like autoimmune disorder and metabolic diseases. GSK Vaccines Chairman, Dr. Moncef slaoui seemed hopeful to publish the clinical study results within three years if everything goes as planned. He stated that “You punch a little hole, and (the surgical robot) uses a ‘smart’ head with a camera to find its way to the viscera, then a tool grafts the electrode to the nerve“.

GSK is an old player of bioelectronic devices with a focused research and development cell. In 2013, GSK raised $50 million venture funds for this field and has been generating fund from time to time for the development of micro implantable devices technology. Recently, company teamed up with Nuviant Medical (a Belgian startup) to use its neurostimulation implants to test its bioelectronics. This deal could help GSK to compete with companies like Medtronics and startup like SetPoint Medical that are working on the similar line of micro implants to treat chronic conditions.   

However, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), GSK need to revive the device at some points because it requires a micro-chip along with electrodes interacting specifically to a specified nerve and also need to check their compatibility with human body. Also, the device requires a power source other than the batteries because they produce a lot of heat. We hope the company would be able to tackle these problem constructively.

Featured Image credit: Ampere meter with sparks © krishnacreations (BigStock Photo ID: 5654253)

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