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“Stentrode” Shows Potential as Neural Interface for Brain Implantable device repurposes stent technology to enable direct recording from neurons

 
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02/08/2016 03:51 PM
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“Stentrode” Shows Potential as Neural Interface for Brain Implantable device repurposes stent technology to enable direct recording from neurons
[link to www.darpa.mil]




A DARPA-funded research team has created a novel neural-recording device that can be implanted into the brain through blood vessels, eliminating the need for invasive surgery and the risks associated with breaching the blood-brain barrier. The technology was developed under DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology (RE-NET) program, and offers new potential for safely expanding the use of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to treat physical disabilities and neurological disorders.

In an article published in Nature Biotechnology, researchers in the Vascular Bionics Laboratory at the University of Melbourne led by neurologist Thomas Oxley, M.D., describe proof-of-concept results from a study conducted in sheep that demonstrate high-fidelity measurements taken from the motor cortex—the region of the brain responsible for controlling voluntary movement—using a novel device the size of a small paperclip.

This new device, which Oxley’s team dubbed the “stentrode,” was adapted from off-the-shelf stent technology—a familiar therapeutic tool for clearing and repairing blood vessels—to include an array of electrodes. The researchers also addressed the dual challenge of making the device flexible enough to safely pass through curving blood vessels, yet stiff enough that the array can emerge from the delivery tube at its destination.

Whereas traditional electrode arrays are implanted into the brain through a surgical procedure that requires opening the skull, the stentrode is delivered via catheter angiography, a much lower-risk procedure. The catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the neck. Researchers then use real-time imaging to guide the stentrode to a precise location in the brain, where the stentrode then expands and attaches to the walls of the blood vessel to read the activity of nearby neurons. The stentrode technology lever


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02/08/2016 08:32 PM
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Re: “Stentrode” Shows Potential as Neural Interface for Brain Implantable device repurposes stent technology to enable direct recording from neurons
bump Interesting, thanks!





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