Navigation Links
A more flexible window into the brain

PHILADELPHIA - A team of researchers co-led by the University of Pennsylvania has developed and tested a new high-resolution, ultra-thin device capable of recording brain activity from the cortical surface without having to use penetrating electrodes. The device could make possible a whole new generation of brain-computer interfaces for treating neurological and psychiatric illness and research. The work was published in Nature Neuroscience.

"The new technology we have created can conform to the brain's unique geometry, and records and maps activity at resolutions that have not been possible before," says Brian Litt, MD, the study's senior author and Associate Professor of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. "Using this device, we can explore the brain networks underlying normal function and disease with much more precision, and its likely to change our understanding of memory, vision, hearing and many other normal functions and diseases." For our patients, implantable brain devices could be inserted in less invasive operations and, by mapping circuits involved in epilepsy, paralysis, depression and other 'network brain disorders' in sufficient detail, this could allow us to intervene to make patients better, Litt said.

Composed of 720 silicon nanomembrane transistors in a multiplexed 360-channel array, the newly designed ultrathin, flexible, foldable device can be positioned not only on the brain surface but also inside sulci and fissures or even between the cortical hemispheres, areas that are physically inaccessible to conventional rigid electrode arrays. Current arrays also require separate wires for each individual sensor, meaning that they can sample broad regions of the brain with low resolution or small regions with high resolution, but not both. The multiplexed nanosensors of the new device can cover a much large brain area with high resolution, while using almost ten times fewer wires.

Monitoring and studying the brain's constant electrical activity, or to alter it when it goes awry, often requires the placement of electrodes deep within specific regions of the brain. These currently used devices can be clumsy and of low resolution, and those used for neuromotor prostheses can cause tissue inflammation and hemorrhages.

Study collaborators including lead author Jonathan Viventi, PhD, an assistant professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University who worked with Litt on the project as a postdoctoral fellow at Penn, and colleagues John Rogers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Dae-Hyeong Kim from Seoul National University, worked together to conceive and build the array, believed to be the first device of its kind to be used as a brain interface.

In animal models, researchers observed responses to visual stimuli and recorded previously unknown details of sleep patterns and brain activity during epileptic seizures. The array recorded spiral waves during seizure activity that have not been previously recorded in whole brain. These patterns are similar to those seen in the heart during ventricular fibrillation, raising the possibility of fighting epilepsy with some of the same methods used to treat cardiac arrhythmias, like focal destruction or ablation of abnormal circuits.

The observation of spiral wave activity also served to highlight the extreme sensitivity and resolving capacity of this new active array, which was able to easily distinguish normal signal patterns from abnormal waves even in the same frequency ranges. The activity recorded by Litt's research team has enormous implications not only for controlling seizures but for understanding and treating disorders of other brain processes affecting sleep, memory, and learning, and for the characterizing and treating chronic pain, depression, and other neuropsychological disorders.

Ultimately, the researchers expect that flexible electrode arrays can be perfected for use for various therapeutic and research purposes throughout the body. They could serve as neuroprostheses, pacemakers, ablative devices, or neuromuscular stimulators. Their versatility, sensitivity, and reduced effect on surrounding tissues puts them in the forefront of the next generation of brain-computer interfaces.

Contact: Kim Menard
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Flexible rack systems sort molecules
2. Flexible covering to combat water damage wins 2011 Innovation Prize
3. Single flexible sigmoidoscopy screening associated with reduced colorectal cancer
4. Study finds flexible-fiber CO2 laser safe in endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery
5. Flexible Schedule Helps Keep New Moms in the Workplace
6. ASGE and SHEA issue updated multisociety guideline on reprocessing flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes
7. Knee arthritis? Flexible options can help keep you active
8. Flexible Assembly Systems Announces Torque Screwdriver Application Guide
9. Flexible Floor-Cleaning Routine Helps School Prevent Spread of Infection
10. Flexible Assembly Systems Announces New Torque Calculator App for the iPhone
11. Window of opportunity to treat some stroke patients may be longer than originally suspected
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. John ... to learn more about hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy cap. ... solution for thicker and fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, or ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first ... “ Two Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began ... aid in MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to become ... invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses will ... , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. D’Orazio ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law firm of Botto Gilbert ... Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys Botto and Wimmer represented the ... App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock testified that on May 10, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... a double board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical ... of The Skin Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, ... (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast ... --> --> The purpose ... and forecast of the global advanced wound care market. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- ) has announced the ... Viscosity Drugs" report to their offering. ... of the "Self Administration of High Viscosity ... Research and Markets ( ) has ... of High Viscosity Drugs" report to their ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive ... offering.  --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: