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Implant Monitors Transplanted Organs for Rejection

The new bioelectronic implant offers a continuous, real-time monitoring solution that can provide reassurance and peace of mind to patients.

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Transplant rejection can occur at any time after a transplant, and it often goes unnoticed by patients due to the lack of symptoms. According to a recent Slate Report article, Northwestern University researchers have developed an electronic device to address the issue by continuously monitoring the health of transplanted organs in real-time. Positioned directly on a transplanted kidney, the ultrathin and soft implant can identify temperature irregularities linked to inflammation and other bodily responses associated with transplant rejection. The device transmits wireless data to a nearby smartphone or tablet, alerting patients or physicians to any issues. 

In a recent study, the device was tested on a small animal model with transplanted kidneys and successfully detected warning signs of rejection up to three weeks earlier than existing monitoring methods. The early detection could lead to timely intervention, improving patient outcomes and the chances of preserving donated organs, which are in high demand amid an organ shortage crisis. The team believes the technology could be applicable to other organ transplants and disease models in the future.

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