MeraNews Network, Ahmedabad: Scientists have developed a wireless 'in-body GPS' system that can pinpoint the location of ingestible implants and track tumors inside the body. In animal tests, the team demonstrated that the system dubbed ReMix can track the implants with centimeter-level accuracy. Similar implants could be used to deliver drugs to specific regions in the body.
To test ReMix, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital in the US first implanted a small marker in animal tissues.
To track its movement, the researchers used a wireless device that reflects radio signals off the patient. Interestingly, the marker inside the body does not need to transmit any wireless signal. It simply reflects the signal transmitted by the wireless device outside the body. Therefore, it does not need a battery or any other external source of energy.
One potential application for ReMix is in proton therapy, a type of cancer treatment that involves bombarding tumors with beams of magnet-controlled protons. The approach allows doctors to prescribe higher doses of radiation but requires a very high degree of precision, which means that it is usually limited to only certain cancers.
Researchers clarify that ReMix is not yet accurate enough to be used in clinical settings. A margin of error closer to a couple of millimeters would be necessary for actual implementation.