- Researchers at Imperial College London are working on development of a microchip that, when implanted in the body, will help to fight obesity by reducing hunger.
- The ‘intelligent’ microchip (a few millimeters in size) is attached to the vagus nerve in the abdomen. The device reacts to electrical and chemical signals and communicates with the brain to suppress appetite. The device will be sensitive enough to control the urge to eat without eliminating the desire. Proof of concept has already been demonstrated in laboratory trials.
- This technology may reduce the need for expensive and potentially risky gastric band surgery and more importantly, is reversible.
Human trials are expected to take place within the next three years. Aside from the potential to reduce obesity related illness this development may play a role in reducing food consumption and demand in the western world with implications for global food security.