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Measuring and manipulating neuronal signals using implantable electronic microsensor arrays

Problem: 

Most current implantable brain devices stimulate large regions of the brain without sensing. These devices are not able to access the fine multi-scale architecture comprising brain function and do not interact with the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization and repair. 

 

Solution: 

An implantable electronic micro-sensor array on flexible substrate for the measurement and manipulation of neuronal activity with circuitry to adapt performance based on input patterns. 

 

Inventor: 

Brian Litt, MD, Department of Neurology

 

Advantages: 

  • Very high sensor density (20 nm spacing) improves signal quality and preserves space for effector circuits (electrical stimulators, optical emitters)
  • Low temperature fabrication enables use of flexible polymer substrates to better adhere to curved tissue surfaces (brain, spinal cord, heart)
  • Self-adaptive circuitry allows optimization of sensor and effector performance post-implantation

Applications: 

  • Diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, paralysis, cachexia, and cardiac arrhythmia/ischemia
  • Implantable microarrays have been used to facilitate mental control of electronic devices by spinal injury patients
  • Implantable cardiac defibrillators  

Stage of Development: 

  • Prototype arrays have been produced with channel sizes of 60 nm and 20 nm
  • Prototypes have been used to monitor electrical activity in porcine heart and rat cortex

Intellectual Property: 

U.S. Patent 9,072,887

 

Reference Media: 

Bink, et al. 2011. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 5400-3. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091335.  

 

Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Collaboration

Docket # V4966