June 30, 2010

1 Min Read
Chip May Enable Targeted Deep Brain Stimulation for Neurological Disorders

Current deep brain stimulation technologies employed to treat neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease or seizures lack precision and can actually overstimulate the brain, according to a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University in conjunction with a European consortium. A new chip in development by the researchers helps address this problem, however, effectively allowing for precise, targeted stimulation of the brain.

Dubbed the Rehabilitation Nano Chip, the flexible platform will be able to be programmed to treat specific disorders for targeted treatment, the researchers state. To do so, electrodes would be implanted into the affected areas of the brain and record activity. This information would then be used to develop algorithms that simulate healthy neural activity, which are then programmed into the chip and transmitted back to the affected areas of the brain.

Although the chip would work with electrodes that are implanted in the brain to begin with, the multidisciplinary research team speculates that, as chips continue to shrink in size, their chip could someday be etched directly onto the electrodes. To optimize future neurostimulator platforms equipped with the chips, the researchers are also examining the electrodes, which they hope to eventually miniaturize while adding more sensing functionality.

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