Chill Pill

Pain got you HOT HEADED? Take a chill pill!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Pain is no fun for anyone. We FEEL it because our nerves send pain signals from wounds to our brains. Mercifully, we can stop our nerves from sending those signals. One way to do this is by numbing the injury with ice. But what if you could cool the nerve DIRECTLY?

How? Jonathan Reeder from Northwestern University and his team have answers!

They designed a temporary implant that gently wraps around a nerve and chills it. The implant uses liquid coolant inside a flexible, rubber-like material. Kind of like a liquid-gel ice pack! It also has a built-in temperature sensor. This ensures that the temperature of the implant remains safe and effective! AND… The material is slowly broken down and safely absorbed by the body. No removal required!

The researchers hope this non-addictive cooler could reduce opioid use for pain management.

Sounds like a pretty COOL device! Ahhhhhhhh….

Reference: Reeder, J. T., Xie, Z., Yang, Q., Seo, M.-H., Yan, Y., Deng, Y., Jinkins, K. R., Krishnan, S. R., Liu, C., McKay, S., Patnaude, E., Johnson, A., Zhao, Z., Kim, M. J., Xu, Y., Huang, I., Avila, R., Felicelli, C., Ray, E., … Rogers, J. A. (2022). Soft, bioresorbable coolers for reversible conduction block of peripheral nerves. Science, 377(6601), 109–115.