Bladder Control

Anyone who has an overactive bladder will tell you it is no laughing fact laughing might make things a little bit worse.

For that exact reason, scientists have been working on developing a soft implant which might help those affected to better control their urge to go to the bathroom. The implant uses optogenetics to regulate nerve cells in the bladder by light stimulation. During the study, scientists gave medicine to rats that caused them to suffer from an overactive bladder. They then fitted the rats with the implant, and it alleviated their issue almost instantly.


Optogenetics was initially developed to monitor brain cells and to see how our brain works, but recently scientists have been applying them in different fields to control nerves throughout our bodies. If this implant proves to be successful in treating overactive bladders, there is no reason to think that it cannot be used to treat other diseases and issues.

Currently, there are more than 33 million people that have reported they have an issue with an overreactive bladder. Current treatment methods involve the use of implants that might have adverse effects on the functionality of neighboring organs.

The implant works by turning on a pair of LEDs when it detects that the person using the implant went to the restroom at least three times within one hour. The green glow emitting from the LEDs then activates light-sensitive Arch proteins which then stop full bladder alerts from being sent.

Unfortunately, as promising as this looks in the short-term, we still have to see if there are any adverse long-term effects. As a result of using this implant a patient might develop an immune reaction to the Arch protein, and then the protein might be unable to block these alert calls.

More testing is needed, and the study shows a lot of promise, primarily if it can be transferred to other fields and treat other ailments.

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There are very few people on this planet who enjoy their work more than Aner Banner. His friends often readily admit that Aner eats, sleeps, and breaths science 24 hours a day. He is always challenging old methods, proposing new ideas, and seeking to solve difficult problems. Aner spends most of the day imparting his wisdom to the young minds of a small elementary school. Thankfully he has also mastered the art of making science come alive for the future leaders of our nation. He is loved and well respected by students, parents, and faculty alike. His motto forever remains “never stop learning.

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