Non-Surgical Implant Using Laser Light May Become New Treatment For Obesity

Jun, 2022 - By WMR

Non-Surgical Implant Using Laser Light May Become New Treatment For Obesity

Researchers developed new implant that uses laser activated dye to kill cells that produce ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone

Among various other treatments for obesity, now researchers at Catholic University of Korea developed a new non-invasive implant treatment to help ramp up the process of weight-loss by eliminating cells in the stomach that induce hunger. When tested in animals this laser activated dye coated implant killed cells that produce ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone.

Human body produced ghrelin hormone that stimulates the appetite and boosts food consumption as well as promotes fat storage. Most of the ghrelin produced in body is generated and secreted by cells in upper part of stomach. To lower these cells’ activity, the researchers modified an existing prototype implant. This devices is termed as intragastric satiety-inducing device (ISD) and it comprises of a stent that is lodged in the lower esophagus without any surgical process and is linked to a disc resting in the opening to the stomach, and a tiny opening in this disc lets the food to go through. In the new ISD version, the team coated the underside of this disc with a drugs known as methylene blue. Then a fiber optic laser is passed through this opening in the disc where it curves back around towards a point at its underside.

The irradiated drug on the ISD respond when the laser gleams on the methylene blue and produces an oxygen form that is full of energy, called as singlet oxygen, which eliminates cells in surrounding that produce ghrelin and then it vanishes from the stomach quickly. After this procedure, the implant is removed from the body. When the team tested the treatment on pigs, they found that ghrelin levels and body weight lowered by half in the animals. However, the cells that produce ghrelin get replaced naturally, this treatment would be required repeatedly. 

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