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Wayne State University researchers win grant from the NSF to target tinnitus
Date:6/20/2011

DETROIT A team of Wayne State University researchers was awarded $330,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a 3-D neural probe. Their aim is to develop an implantable device that will suppress tinnitus, a neurological disorder that affects more than 250 million people worldwide.

With the ever-expanding knowledge in the fields of neuroscience and neurosurgery, there is an increasing need for devices and tools that enable neuroscientists to delve deeper into the physiological and pathological function of neural tissue at the level of groups of neurons. A variety of neural probes developed have significantly contributed to important discoveries within the neuroscience community. Despite this steady progress over the past two decades, there is a strong demand for improved probes with new functionality. The Wayne State team will address this need by developing a 3-D neural probe that simplifies the fabrication and assembly process of high-density 3-D arrays of electrodes.

Yong Xu, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and resident of Troy, Mich., and Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D. associate professor and associate research director of otolaryngology, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, and resident of Troy, said the project, "A novel 3-dimensional neural probe technology combining electrical and chemical interfaces," is based on a flexible skin structure and simple folding procedure. The technology will enable the integration of micro-channels for neurotransmitter-based chemical stimulation and local delivery of various drugs for biocompatibility improvement.

The team aims to develop next generation 3-D neural probes that can electrically and chemically stimulate neurons with greater efficacy and can monitor neural activity from deeper regions of the brain.

"One highly desirable feature is 3-D array of electrodes to monitor or modulate neural activities with 3-D sp
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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