Navigation Links
Nanotech coating could lead to better brain implants to treat diseases
Date:3/10/2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Biomedical and materials engineers at the University of Michigan have developed a nanotech coating for brain implants that helps the devices operate longer and could improve treatment for deafness, paralysis, blindness, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

Currently, brain implants can treat Parkinson's disease, depression and epilepsy. These and the next generation of the devices operate in one of two ways. Either they stimulate neurons with electrical impulses to override the brain's own signals, or they record what working neurons are transmitting to non-working parts of the brain and reroute that signal.

On-scalp and brain-surface electrodes are giving way to brain-penetrating microelectrodes that can communicate with individual neurons, offering hope for more precise control of signals.

In recent years, researchers at other institutions have demonstrated that these implanted microelectrodes can let a paralyzed person use thought to control a computer mouse and move a wheelchair. Michigan researchers' say their coating can most immediately improve this type of microelectrode.

Mohammad Reza Abidian, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biomedical Engineering who is among the developers of the new coating, says the reliability of today's brain-penetrating microelectrodes often begins to decline after they're in place for only a few months.

"You want to be able to use these for at least a couple years," Abidian said. "Current technology doesn't allow this in most cases because of how the tissues of the brain respond to the implants. The goal is to increase their efficiency and their lifespans."

The new coating Abidian and his colleagues developed is made of three components that together allow electrodes to interface more smoothly with the brain. The coating is made of a special electrically-conductive nanoscale polymer called PEDOT; a natural, gel-like buffer called alginate hydrogel; and biodegradable nanofibers loaded with a controlled-release anti-inflammatory drug.

The PEDOT in the coating enables the electrodes to operate with less electrical resistance than current models, which means they can communicate more clearly with individual neurons.

The alginate hydrogel, partially derived from algae, gives the electrodes mechanical properties more similar to actual brain tissue than the current technology. That means coated neural electrodes would cause less tissue damage.

The biodegradable, drug-loaded nanofibers fight the "encapsulation" that occurs when the immune system tells the body to envelop foreign materials. Encapsulation is another reason these electrodes can stop functioning properly. The nanofibers fight this response well because they work with the alginate hydrogel to release the anti-inflammatory drugs in a controlled, sustained fashion as the nanofibers themselves break down.

"Penetrating microelectrodes provide a means to record from individual neurons, and in doing so, there is the potential to record extremely precise information about a movement or an intended movement. The open question in our field is what is the trade-off: How much invasiveness can be tolerated in exchange for more precision?" said Daryl Kipke, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the director of the U-M Center for Neural Communication Technology.

In these experiments, the Michigan researchers applied their coating to microelectrodes provided by the U-M Center for Neural Communication Technology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
ncmoore@umich.edu
734-647-1838
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Federal research plan to determine nanotech risks fails to deliver
2. Poll reveals public awareness of nanotech stuck at low level
3. Nanotechnology: not just for geeks
4. The nanotech future: a conversation with Mihail Roco
5. Major EU Funded Nanotube Research Group, DESYGN-IT, Publish in AZoJono - The Open Access Online Nanotech Journal
6. Food and Drug Law Institute, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Co-Sponsor Major Conference on Nanotechnology Law, Regulation and Policy
7. UCLA-industry partnership to develop, commercialize new nanotechnology
8. NIST reference materials are gold standard for bio-nanotech research
9. EPA takes first step in filling nanotech information gaps
10. Nanotech Briefs Announces Call for Nominations for the Fourth Annual Nano 50(TM) Awards
11. Nanotechnologys future depends on who the public trusts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van ... Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite ... 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... 12th International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two ... Announcement of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research and Markets ... for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Companion Diagnostics The World Market for Companion ... medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... KNOXVILLE, Tenn. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal ... million in funding.  The Series-A funding is led ... the Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, ... less-invasive neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, Binder, ... Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 Billion ... forecast period 2016 to 2021. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: