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'Brain window' implant devised

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Author: 
BBC News
Published Date: 
3 September 2013
Publication: 
www.bbcnews.co.uk
Original article: 

A "window to the brain" implant which would allow doctors to see through the skull and possibly treat patients has been devised by US researchers.

It uses a see-through version of the same material used for hip implants.

The team at University of California, Riverside, say it could allow lasers to be fired into the brain to treat neurological disorders.

The implant was reported in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine.

The researchers say emerging laser-treatments in stroke and cancer care and brain imaging require access to the brain.

However, they are limited as a part of the skull needs to be removed and replaced each time a treatment is performed.

Instead the team of scientists have devised a transparent implant that would replace a small section of the skull.

They have converted a material - yttria-stabilized zirconia that is used in some ceramic hip implants and dental crowns - to make it transparent.

They argue the material would be safe to implant, but would also provide a window onto the brain.

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