The 6.5-millimeter-long programmable implant can receive both power and data via ultrasound through more than 10.5 centimeters of tissue. Because of its versatility and small size it could be injected through a needle rather than require surgery. Scientists envision that it will greatly expand the number of conditions treated with electrical stimulation of the body's nerves. So far, most of those treatments have focused on stimulating spinal nerves for controlling pain and the vagus nerve for epilepsy and depression.
Non-drug treatments using nerve stimulators can be transformative for many patients. A nerve stimulator that could be implanted with minimally invasive surgery, or simply be injected, would allow nerve stimulation treatments to reach 100-fold more patients. Animal testing to prove the project is planned soon.