DARPA Implant Will Reduce Jet Lag and Control the Body

DARPA’s new ADvanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness (ADAPTER) program aims to develop a travel adapter for the human body, an implantable or ingestible bioelectronic carrier that can provide warfighters control over their own physiology.

The implant will improve sleep and possibly eliminate bacteria that cause diarrhea and food poisoning.

The integrated system will be designed to entrain the sleep cycle – either to a new time zone or back to a normal sleep pattern after night missions – and eliminate bacteria that cause traveler’s diarrhea after ingestion of contaminated food and water. ADAPTER will provide a transient, non-genetic means of extending and enhancing warfighter readiness.

“The goal of the ADAPTER program is to produce the therapies within the body itself. ADAPTER will manage a warfighter’s circadian rhythm, halving the time to reestablish normal sleep after a disruption such as jet lag or shift lag. It will also provide safe food and water by eliminating in vivo the top five bacterial sources of traveler’s diarrhea. Both will enhance the health and mobility of warfighters,” described Paul Sheehan, Ph.D., program manager for the DARPA ADAPTER program.

Leveraging known strategies, solutions, and molecules, performers will choose one of two application tracks:
(1) in vivo compound delivery to entrain circadian rhythm/restore sleep-cycles; or
(2) in vivo decontamination of food and water from bacterial causes of traveler’s diarrhea.