Navigation Links
Coating improves electrical stimulation therapy used for Parkinson's, depression, chronic pain
Date:9/15/2008

DALLAS Sept. 16, 2008 Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have designed a way to improve electrical stimulation of nerves by outfitting electrodes with the latest in chemically engineered fashion: a coating of basic black, formed from carbon nanotubes.

The nanotube sheathing improves the signals received and transmitted by electrodes, which researchers say is a potentially critical step for advancing electrical nerve stimulation therapy. This type of therapy increasingly shows promise for diseases ranging from epilepsy to depression to chronic leg and back pain.

By implanting electronic nerve stimulators, doctors elsewhere have provided a quadriplegic patient with the ability to move a computer cursor at will, and monkeys have been able to move objects in a virtual world with mere mind power. For individuals who lose an arm or leg and rely on prosthetics, implanted stimulators offer promise in restoring feelings of sensation.

"The key to success for these types of brain-machine interfaces is where the electrode meets the nerve tissue," said Dr. Edward Keefer, instructor of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study appearing in a recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology. "When we coat the electrodes with carbon nanotubes, it improves the stimulation of the nerve and the feedback from the sensors."

Depending on the way the nanotubes are fashioned, researchers were able to bolster either the stimulation or receptive capabilities to improve performance. In some tests, the nanotube coating improved performance by fortyfold, while in others it improved by a factor of as much as 1,600.

Nanotubes look like lattices rolled into a tube on a microscopic scale. Although they are 1/50,000 the width of a human hair, nanotubes are nonetheless among the stiffest and strongest fibers known, as well as excellent conductors of electricity.

Those properties proved to be just the attributes needed to help electrophysiologists conquer some of the hurdles facing them issues such as battery power and chemical stability.

The carbon nanotube coating improves conductivity, which means less energy is needed to power the nerve stimulator. That can help reduce routine maintenance, such as the need to change batteries in implanted stimulation devices, as well as reduce tissue damage caused by the electrical charge.

"Our process is like taking a Ford Pinto, pouring on this chemical coating, and turning it into a Ferrari," Dr. Keefer said.

Researchers have tried several types of electrochemical coatings to see if they could improve conductivity, but the coatings often break down quickly or fail to stay affixed to the electrodes. The carbon nanotube coating shows far more promise, although further research is still needed, Dr. Keefer said.

"The development of new technologies by Dr. Keefer to potentially restore function in wounded tissues and future transplantations is exciting," said Dr. Spencer Brown, assistant professor of plastic surgery who heads research in the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Advanced Plastic Surgery and Wound Healing Laboratory at UT Southwestern.


'/>"/>

Contact: Russell Rian
russell.rian@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Candy-coating keeps proteins sweet
2. Pictures of hot fudge sundaes arouse: Understanding emotions improves our food choices
3. JDRF-funded clinical trial demonstrates continuous glucose monitoring improves blood sugar control
4. CAPHOSOL relieves oral mucositis and improves quality-of-life in cancer patients
5. More than words: childbirth training change improves safety, cuts unnecessary procedures
6. New surgery improves head and neck cancer treatment
7. Herceptin and chemo improves response rates without major adverse effects in HER2 breast cancer
8. Stem-cell transplantation improves muscles in MD animal model, UT Southwestern researchers report
9. New clinical data shows chromium picolinate improves cognitive function
10. Teamwork improves learning and career success
11. Endobronchial valve significantly improves emphysema
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Coating improves electrical stimulation therapy used for Parkinson's, depression, chronic pain
(Date:2/10/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... and Commercial Aspects" to their offering. ... Biomarkers play an ... for selection of treatment as well for monitoring the results. ... in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies and next generation sequencing are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 7, 2017 Report ... ... and should reach $11.4 billion by 2021, growing at a ... Report Includes - An overview of the global markets for ... from 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of compound annual ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... Feb. 7, 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... healthcare, will present at the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual ... Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. ... the presentation can be accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  ... conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017   Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... developing first-in-class biological therapies for cardiac and other ... to terminate its license agreement with the Mayo ... Cenderitide. "Our decision to return these ... our efforts to advance our core cell and ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  Champions Oncology, Inc. ... the development and sale of advanced technology solutions and ... drugs, today announced the addition of new cohorts of ... These new models will expand Champions, product line in ... and neck cancer, AML, and non-small cell lung cancer ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a division of Albany Molecular Research Inc. has further extended its industry ... sector. This service offers state-of-the-art cGMP techniques and methods for the ...
(Date:2/15/2017)... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vanda) (NASDAQ: VNDA), today announced financial ... full year ended December 31, 2016. ... we continued to demonstrate strong growth in our ... said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, M.D., Vanda,s President and ... 2017 milestones underscores Vanda,s commitment to bringing important ...
Breaking Biology Technology: