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

atial resolution," said Xu. "In addition, it is very advantageous to integrate micro-channels that enable neurotransmitter-based chemical stimulation and local drug delivery to reduce or suppress tissue response, one of the major obstacles for successful chronic implantation. Currently there is no good method of making 3-D array of electrodes, let alone the integration of micro-channels with 3-D arrays of electrodes."

Naturalistic chemical stimulation using integrated micro-channels could address some of the issues concerning pure electrical stimulation of neural probes, such as poor spatial resolution, degradation of metal electrodes, and water hydrolysis due to the large stimulation currents and charges required to depolarize the neuron cells. In addition, the fabrication process is post-complementary metaloxidesemiconductor (CMOS) compatible, allowing the monolithic integration of CMOS circuits with neural probes using an economical post-CMOS process.

"These important features will help us become the leader in the new round of worldwide races to develop the next generation neural probes," said Xu. "The successful development of the implantable device will be useful for treating a variety of neurological disorders, such as refractory paralysis, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, blindness and tinnitus."

Xu and Zhang will target tinnitus suppression with the implantable neural probe they are developing. Tinnitus affects 50 million Americans and more than 250 million people worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately three to four million people are debilitated by the condition.

Currently, there is no reliable treatment for tinnitus. Pharmacologic treatment and rehabilitation can improve the emotional and psychological reaction to tinnitus, but this therapy has been unreliable and requires long periods of time and a considerable amount of patient compliance. Recent clinical studies have shown that st
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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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