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
[google_news title=”” keyword=”neural implant” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Neural implant
- A biotech company aiming for permanent brain implants buys Addison foundryon November 30, 2023 at 6:31 am
Creating a successful brain-computer interface isn’t a new endeavor, but it is a difficult one that’s often confined to the sterile rooms of research labs ...
- Elon Musk denies Neuralink monkeys died gruesome deaths, saying they live in 'monkey paradise'on November 30, 2023 at 3:02 am
Elon Musk said that the Neuralink implant, which it plans to test on humans next year, has never directly caused the death of a monkey.
- Elon Musk denies Neuralink implants have killed monkeyson November 29, 2023 at 10:22 pm
The statement referred to two monkeys that were euthanised at planned end dates, and six that were euthanised on medical advice from the veterinary staff at UC Davis, where Neuralink was conducting ...
- Elon Musk denies Neuralink monkey death claims, U.S. lawmakers want SEC probeon November 29, 2023 at 3:59 pm
Now, following a letter from U.S. lawmakers urging the SEC to look into Neuralink’s monkey deaths (reported by Wired last week), Musk denied the allegations of gruesome deaths as a result of the BCI ...
- Youthful Canadian inventors win awardson November 29, 2023 at 2:10 pm
Mutyala, a student at Chinguacousy Secondary School in Brampton, Ont., created a brain imaging system that he says opens the future for permanent wireless neural implants. For his work, he received an ...
- Tag Archives: Enerspike (neural implant algorithm)on November 29, 2023 at 2:07 pm
“I always tell my friends something that would be funny is if I’m competing head-to-head with Elon Musk in the race to getting people [neural] implants,” Mutyala told Matt Galloway on The Current.
- Oxford Researchers Innovate 3D Printing Technique with Potential to Heal Brain Injurieson November 28, 2023 at 1:42 pm
A breakthrough technique developed by University of Oxford researchers could one day provide tailored repairs for those who suffer brain injuries. The researchers demonstrated for the first time that ...
- Teens' award-winning inventions show why STEM education is so important: advocateon November 28, 2023 at 9:34 am
Anush Mutyala and Vinny Gu have both received awards from Youth Science Canada at the National Fair in 2023. And advocates for children in STEM say stories like theirs are the reason there needs to be ...
- Elon Musk's Neuralink raises more cash ahead of human trials next yearon November 27, 2023 at 5:18 am
Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink raised a further $43 million, SEC filings show, as it prepares to put its chips in people for the first time.
- Safety concerns surround Neuralink's human brain implant trialson November 22, 2023 at 9:50 pm
A storm of controversy surrounds Elon Musk's ambitious venture, Neuralink. Four U.S. Lawmakers have called for a securities and exchange commission investigation, alleging securities fraud over claims ...
via Bing News