A soft neural implant, capable of delivering multiple drugs and color lights, might speed research on diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression and pain.
A team of scientists in Korea and the United States have invented a device that can control neural circuits by using a tiny brain implant managedby a smartphone.
Publishing in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers said the soft neural implant is the first wireless neural device capable of delivering multiple drugs and color lights. The device could speed up efforts to uncover brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, and pain.
“The wireless neural device enables chronic chemical and optical neuromodulation that has never been achieved before,” said lead author Raza Qazi, a researcher with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and University of Colorado Boulder.
Co-author Michael Bruchas, a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pharmacology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said this technology will help researchers in many ways.
“It allows us to better dissect the neural circuit basis of behavior, and how specific neuromodulators in the brain tune behavior in various ways,” he said. “We are also eager to use the device for complex pharmacological studies, which could help us develop new therapeutics for pain, addiction and emotional disorders.”
The device uses Lego-like replaceable drug cartridges and powerful bluetooth low-energy to deliver drugs and light to specific neurons of interest.
Resarchers said this technology significantly overshadows conventional neuroscience methods, which usually involve rigid metal tubes and optical fibers. Apart from limiting the subject’s movement due to the physical connections with bulky equipment, their relatively rigid structure causes lesion in soft brain tissue over time, therefore making them not suitable for long-term implantation. Though some efforts have partly mitigate adverse tissue response by incorporating soft probes and wireless platforms, the previous solutions were limited by their inability to deliver drugs for long periods of time as well as their bulky and complex control setups.
To achieve chronic wireless drug delivery, scientists had to solve the critical challenge of exhaustion and evaporation of drugs. The researchers collaborated to invent the neural device, which could allow neuroscientists to study the same brain circuits for several months without worrying about running out of drugs.
These “plug and play” drug cartridges were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe, the thickness of a human hair, which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs, smaller than a grain of salt, for unlimited drug doses and light delivery.
Controlled with an elegant, simple user interface on a smartphone, the device can easily trigger any specific combination or precise sequencing of light and drug deliveries in any implanted target animal without need to be inside the laboratory. Using these wireless neural devices, researchers could also easily setup fully automated animal studies where behavior of one animal could positively or negatively affect behaviour in other animals by conditional triggering of light and/or drug delivery.
“This revolutionary device is the fruit of advanced electronics design and powerful micro and nanoscale engineering,” said Jae-Woong Jeong, a professor of electrical engineering at KAIST. “We are interested in further developing this technology to make a brain implant for clinical applications.”
The researchers at the Jeong group at KAIST, South Korea, develop soft electronics for wearable and implantable devices. The neuroscientists at the Bruchas Lab in Seattle study brain circuits that control stress, depression, addiction, pain and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This collaborative effort among engineers and neuroscientists over three years and tens of design iterations led to the successful validation of this brain implant in freely moving mice.
The Latest on: Neural implant
via Google News
The Latest on: Neural implant
- Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak leaves Elon Musk's brain implant companyon May 1, 2021 at 7:28 pm
Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak announced Saturday that he is no longer working with the brain tech company he started with Elon Musk. Musk – who is also the CEO of auto and rocket makers Tesla and ...
- Implantable Hydrogel Helps Neurons Recover After Traumatic Brain Injuryon April 30, 2021 at 10:35 am
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) often lead to cognitive disabilities and permanent neural tissue damage, for which effective therapies do not exist. The ...
- Memory Implants Market to see Huge Growth by 2026 | Johnson & Johnson, Neuralink, Biometon April 29, 2021 at 6:31 am
Stay up to date and exploit latest trends of Memory Implants Market with latest edition released by AMA Memory Implants Market Comprehensive Study is an expert and top to bottom investigation on the ...
- Neural Implant Tracks Multiple Brain Areas for the First Timeon April 28, 2021 at 2:04 am
A new study has used a neural implant that monitors the activity of different brain areas simultaneously to show that diverse patterns of two-way communication occur between the hippocampus and the ...
- Neural implant can help monitor activity in multiple brain regions at the same timeon April 27, 2021 at 6:23 pm
How do different parts of the brain communicate with each other during learning and memory formation? A new study by researchers at the University of California San Diego takes a first step at ...
- Neural implant monitors multiple brain areas at once, provides new neuroscience insightson April 27, 2021 at 9:08 am
The study was made possible by developing a neural implant that monitors the activity of different parts of the brain at the same time, from the surface to deep structures—a first in the field.
- Anesthesia doesn't simply turn off the brain, it changes its rhythmson April 27, 2021 at 8:37 am
In a uniquely deep and detailed look at how the commonly used anesthetic propofol causes unconsciousness, a collaboration of labs at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT shows that as ...
- Neural implant monitors multiple brain areas at once, provides new neuroscience insightson April 27, 2021 at 6:01 am
The study was made possible by developing a neural implant that monitors the activity of different parts of the brain at the same time, from the surface to deep structures--a first in the field.
- Do Brain Implants Change Your Identity?on April 20, 2021 at 6:37 am
As neural devices proliferate, so do reports of personality changes, foundering relationships, and people who want to leave their careers.
- A Macaque With Elon Musk's Neuralink Implant Played Pong Using His Mindon April 19, 2021 at 4:50 am
A Video Shows How A Macaque Is Perfectly Able To Play An Old Video Game Through The Neural Implant Devised By Neuralink. Elon Musk Exults: The event was commented upon by Elon Musk himself in one ...
via Bing News