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Electrogenetic Device Allows Remote Control of Cell Signaling

The line between the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of the Body (IoB) just got a little blurrier. In the IoT, everyday devices are interconnected so that they may exchange data and respond accordingly. In the IoB, networked devices include living cells, such as insulin-producing cells. Whereas IoT applications are often pedestrian, such as sensitizing an apartment’s air conditioner to the apartment dweller’s GPS information, IoB applications raise the possibility of remote-controlled therapeutics.

To demonstrate the potential of the IoB, scientists based at ETH Zurich have introduced a device that uses external electric fields to trigger on-demand insulin release inside the body.

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