The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to allocate $248 million to explore bioelectronics therapeutics. The seven-year program—stimulating peripheral activity to relieve conditions (SPARC)—will aim to produce proof-of-concept studies supporting the use of new modulatory therapies to regulate visceral organ functions. GlaxoSmithKline has also backed more than 30 academic projects in bioelectronics, set up a $50-million fund, and an innovation challenge with a $1-million prize to develop a rodent research platform. The purpose of NIH's and GlaxoSmithKline's programs is to identify diseases that can be treated by modulating electrical signals in peripheral visceral nerves, and develop technologies that will enable neural regulation using miniature, implantable devices.
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Contrasting effects of afferent and efferent vagal nerve stimulation on insulin secretion and blood glucose regulation
Physiological Reports (2016)