Researchers from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Asan Medical Center (AMC) have developed the world's first OLED-based catheter for phototherapy within internal organs.
OLED-based light therapy has been researched, and even commercialized, before, but only for external use. This is the first time that such a device has been developed for internal use. The device developed by the joint research team is a catheter-shaped OLED platform that can be directly inserted into tubular organs like the duodenum and is water-resistant.
The OLED emits light uniformly in all directions when wrapped around a bio-compatible , cylindrical structure. The team used the device to explore its potential in improving Type 2 diabetes. In an animal study, the team observed a significant reduction in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance when 798 millijoules (mJ) of light energy was delivered to the duodenum. There were also signs of reduced liver fibrosis and other improvements.
These are early results, derived from small animals, and more time is needed to verify the process.