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25.04.2015 admin
Researchers at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a way to deliver a light signal to specific tissues deep within the body for sensing or treatment. The use of light to communicate with cells has previously been restricted by its limited ability to pass through tissues, especially the skin. Called a light-guiding hydrogel, the implant is constructed from a polymer-based scaffolding capable of supporting living cells and contains cells genetically engineered either to carry out a specific activity in response to light or to emit light in response to a particular metabolic signal. The first system’s implants contained cells genetically engineered to express light-emitting green fluorescent protein (GFP) upon contact with a toxin.
To investigate a possible therapeutic application for the system, the investigators used a hydrogel implant containing cells that respond to blue light by producing glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a protein playing an essential role in glucose metabolism.
After the implants were placed under the skin of mice with diabetes, the blue light signal was delivered for 12 hours.
October 25, 2013 by Gorden Russell Sorry to see that this has not inspired a lot of discussion.


This is just one more type of research that will enable some of us to live long enough to see the Sing. October 26, 2013 by melajara Or, in the mean time to see electroluminescent breast augmentation! October 27, 2013 by Gorden Russell But melajara…women already call me a creep when they catch me gazing upon their beauty.
October 28, 2013 by lazarojordan I share with you the feelings that this should open a broader avenue to discussion, but nevertheless is important enough by itself and will find a way in the future behavior of the humankind.
The Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence newsletter concisely covers relevant major science and technology breakthroughs (daily or weekly) via e-mail. An optical fiber connects the implant to either an external light source or a light detector. After confirming in vitro the hydrogels’ response to nanoparticles containing the toxic metal cadmium, the researchers implanted the hydrogels beneath the skin of three groups of mice.


Support for the study includes grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense. Although the biochemical and biophysical properties of hydrogels have been investigated extensively, little attention has been paid to their potential photonic functionalities. Here, we report cell-integrated polyethylene glycol-based hydrogels for in vivo optical-sensing and therapy applications. Hydrogel patches containing cells were implanted in awake, freely moving mice for several days and shown to offer long-term transparency, biocompatibility, cell viability and light-guiding properties (loss of <1 dB cm?1).
Using optogenetic, glucagon-like peptide-1 secreting cells, we conducted light-controlled therapy using the hydrogel in a mouse model with diabetes and obtained improved glucose homeostasis.



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