Navigation Links
Fast prediction of axon behavior
Date:7/20/2011

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have developed a computer modeling method to accurately predict how a peripheral nerve axon responds to electrical stimuli, slashing the complex work from an inhibitory weeks-long process to just a few seconds.

The method, which enables efficient evaluation of a nerve's response to millions of electrode designs, is an integral step toward building more accurate and capable electrodes to stimulate nerves and thereby enable people with paralysis or amputated limbs better control of movement.

To increase the accuracy of the results, the researchers included a key parameter overlooked in past mathematical approaches that were equally fast, but inaccurate. With the new techniques, electrode design can be optimized using advanced algorithms based on natural genetics.

An explanation of the work, which the team hopes others in the field will freely use, and a second method that was simpler and faster but proved less effective, are now available online in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

"We believe this will allow the next generation of computer-aided development of electrodes," said Dustin Tyler, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Case School of Engineering and senior author of the paper.

Since his graduate school days, Tyler has been developing electrodes to stimulate nerves in paralyzed patients and amputees. Taking the large step from animal models to human clinical trials can be improved with better computer modeling, he said.

"Finding the optimal way to stimulate a nerve is kind of like the 'travelling salesman' trying to figure out which is the most efficient route through a group of cities," Tyler said.

Mapping each possible route and figuring the time spent on the road is very difficult to do with a simple equation.

But, using a complex mathematical formula called a genetic algorithm to simultaneously consider all the routes, or in Tyler's predicament electrode designs, and determining the best requires that each design be evaluated in fractions of seconds. This was not possible previously.

The genetic algorithm mimics the process of natural selection, gene recombination and mutation seen in nature. Or, in this case, takes into account which portions of a neuron to stimulate, how much, with how many points of contact, and more variables.

By adding a variable: the magnitude of the voltage outside the cell produced by the electrode, Tyler's group raised the accuracy beyond current techinques.

They used the free-online nerve simulation environment NEURON developed at Yale University. The data the team used is included in the supplemental materials of their paper and may be downloaded for free, said Erik Petersen, a PhD student at Case Western Reserve and lead author. The third author is Oliver Izad, a former master's student in Tyler's lab.

Their method was developed specifically for peripheral motor nerve axons. Nerves cells with different structures, such as those in the brain, spinal cord, or organs are still being investigated.

The researchers are now developing parameters that would take into account these variations in structure to extend the method to work for all of them, further cutting time needed to develop accurate models.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-368-4442
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
2. British scientists go cloud-hopping in the Pacific to improve climate predictions
3. Climate change expert to discuss grim global warming predictions
4. NASA-enhanced dust storm predictions to aid health community
5. Decisive action needed as warming predictions worsen, says expert
6. Phasic firing of dopamine neurons is key to brains prediction of rewards
7. Counting sheep in climate change predictions
8. New lab test offers better prediction of HIV microbicide safety
9. UTSA wins $5 million for new Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction Center
10. NOAA awards funds to improve toxic algal bloom predictions in the Western Gulf of Mexico
11. Co-conspirator cells could hold key to melanoma prediction, prevention
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled ... Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through ... Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, ... Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is ... account of growing security concerns across various end use ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a market ... opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it ... from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... Lithuania , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, ... released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System ... of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process ... accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face or ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering ... debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing ... advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to us ... bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS ... developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem ... with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. (RCA), ... free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root Cause. ... no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to the Regulatory ...
Breaking Biology Technology: