U of U engineering professor to work on jetlag-fighting medical implant

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A medical implant that could address the uncomfortable nature of jetlag is being developed with help from a University of Utah group.

The device, nicknamed the “living pharmacy,” is aiming to control the body’s circadian clock, reducing the time it takes to recover from disruptions to sleep cycles by half. The wireless device could have applications in military and hospital usage, helping military personnel and first responders working shifting schedules better recover from sleep interruptions.

Courtesy of the University of Utah

University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Florian Solzbacher and his lab will be working to develop and provide a thin film encapsulation for the device to both increase its life and reduce the body’s effects on it.

Solzbacher’s group will join a team, led by Northwestern University researchers, on the project, which has been called NTRAIN (Normalizing Timing of Rhythms Across Internal Networks of Circadian Clocks) and has received $33 million in funding.

“We are leveraging more than 17 years of experience in developing and testing encapsulation for implantable devices and in analyzing and modeling failure modes for implants,” Solzbacher said in a press statement.

Other universities contributing to the project include Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Minnesota, and Rice University.

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