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Keck Foundation funds work on tiny, implantable computers to restore lost brain functions
Date:2/8/2011

ts to effectively control a brain computer interface by allowing long-term adaptation to consistent contingencies, and would open opportunities for the brain to exploit bidirectional interactions with miniature computers. This implementation of continuous reciprocal interaction goes beyond the existing paradigm of using brain signals to control external devices through tethered connections.

As part of the project the team also plans to create a powerful multichannel "Keck Active Electrode Array" with integrated electronics to record and stimulate large numbers of brain sites. This array would operate with electrodes on the surface of the brain and be less invasive than penetrating intracortical electrodes.

To overcome the many technical problems in creating safe, effective devices of this nature and realizing their clinical potential, the project depends on a team of UW experts in different fields.

Dr. Brian Otis, UW assistant professor of electrical engineering, has extensive experience in wireless sensors and in designing extremely small radios that can be incorporated into other devices. He is also an expert in bioelectronics and the processing of signals with minimal power. His group will design and miniaturize the low power circuitry for the computer and the signal amplifiers, and will work toward harvesting energy to operate the device, perhaps from the body's own heat or muscle activity.

Dr. Babak Parviz, the UW McMorrow Innovation Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, has skill in the fabrication of micro- and nano-scale tools, self-assembled biocompatible machinery, and sensors for detecting very faint signals. His group will create the specialized electrode arrays for recording and stimulation, and will help integrate the miniature electronic systems used in the project.

Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann, UW professor of neurological surgery, has expanded his father's original studies on mapping of the human brain t
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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@u.washington.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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Keck Foundation funds work on tiny, implantable computers to restore lost brain functions
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