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Flexible Sensors Offer Unprecedented View of Brain Activity During Epileptic Seizures
Date:11/14/2011

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tapping into the human brain to understand its functions in daily life — as well as its malfunctions in illness — has long been a challenge for researchers. Mapping brain activity requires unwieldy, invasive arrays of electrodes and sensors that can damage tissue while only reading activity in a limited area.

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Jonathan Viventi, assistant professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and New York University (NYU), co-led a team of researchers to devise a streamlined, minimally invasive brain interface that may yield new insights into the causes of brain diseases like epilepsy, as well as usher in a new generation of implantable neuroprosthetic and diagnostic devices.

At the core of the research is a novel, implantable electrode array integrating ultrathin, flexible silicon transistors capable of sampling large areas of the brain with minimal wiring.

The findings are published in the November issue of Nature Neuroscience. Co-authors include the study's senior author Brian Litt of the University of Pennsylvania and John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The technology has been licensed to mc10, a Boston-area company delivering flexible electronics for industrial and biomedical applications.

Current efforts to record or stimulate brain activity are limited by the need to wire each individual sensor at the electrode-tissue interface. The resulting mass of leads is cumbersome and renders a high-resolution map of large areas logistically impossible.

This new approach enables dense arrays of thousands of multiplexed sensors that provide unprecedented s
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SOURCE Polytechnic Institute of New York University; New York University
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