Category Archives: brain-machine interfaces

Living better with electroceuticals

Beter worden met ‘electroceutica’by Harry Baggen, in Elektor Magazine, 30 maart 2016, 15:03

Electroceuticals can help combat a wide variety of medical conditions, such as tinnitus (ringing ears) and epilepsy. Electroceuticals comprise the smart, localized and targeted application of therapeutic electrical stimuli to the body. The technological challenge is to make electroceutical devices smarter and smaller.

According to Wouter Serdijn, Professor of Bio-Electronics at TU Delft in the Netherlands, electroceuticals could develop into a new and significant form of medicine, complementing existing pharmaceuticals. The targeted application of electrical stimuli can alleviate many medical conditions and is not limited to brain therapy. The main advantage of electroceuticals over pharmaceuticals is that the effect is localized. Drug act on the entire body, which can easily lead to adverse effects.

Existing electroceutical devices are still fairly bulky, with relatively large batteries and wires. There is also a high degree of trial and error in treatment methods. The aim is to develop a flexible brain implant on a polymer substrate that can serve as a general platform for various electroceutical devices.

Besser heilen mit „Electroceutica“

Electroceutica können helfen, verschiedene Erkrankungen wie Tinitus (Ohrpfeifen) oder Epilepsie zu lindern. Electroceutica bedeuten die intelligente, lokale und gezielte Verabreichung heilender elektrischer Impulse in den Körper. Die technische Herausforderung ist, die dafür erforderlichen Geräte kleiner und intelligenter zu machen.

Nach Wouter Serdijn, Professor für Bio-Elektronik an der niederländischen Technischen Universität Delft, können Electroceutica zu einem neuen bedeutenden medizinischen Mittel statt oder als Zusatz zur bestehenden Pharmazeutik werden. Die gezielte Anwendung elektrischer Impulse kann bei vielen Erkrankungen helfen, nicht nur bei solchen des Gehirns. Der große Vorteil der elektrischen Methode gegenüber der pharmazeutischen ist, dass sie lokal begrenzt sind: Pillen wirken auf den ganzen Körper ein und haben deswegen oft gravierende Nebenwirkungen.

Zurzeit ist die Verabreichung elektrischer Impulse an den Körper noch recht grobschlächtig mit relativ großen Batterien und Kabeln. Zudem funktioniert diese Methode noch in einem hohen Maß nach dem „Trial-and-error“-Prinzip. Das Ziel ist es, ein flexibles Hirnimplantat auf einem Polymersubstrat zu entwickeln, das zur allgemeinen Grundlage diverser Implantattypen werden kann.

Beter worden met ‘electroceutica’

Electroceutica kunnen helpen om allerlei aandoeningen zoals tinnitus (oorsuizen) en epilepsie te bestrijden. Electroceutica betreft het slim, lokaal en gericht toedienen van helende elektrische pulsen aan het lichaam. De technische uitdaging is het slimmer en kleiner maken van de benodigde apparatuur.

Volgens prof. Wouter Serdijn, hoogleraar bio-elektronica aan de TU Delft, kunnen ‘electroceutica’ uitgroeien tot een nieuw en belangrijk type medicijn, naast en als aanvulling op de al bestaande farmaceutica. Het gericht geven van elektrische pulsen kan bij veel aandoeningen helpen, en is niet alleen toepasbaar in de hersenen. Het grote voordeel van de elektrische methode boven farmaceutica is dat het effect lokaal is. Pillen werken in op het hele lichaam en veroorzaken derhalve snel bijwerkingen.

Op dit moment is het toedienen van elektrische pulsen aan het lichaam nog vrij grofstoffelijk, met bijvoorbeeld relatief grote batterijen en draden. Ook heeft de methode nog een vrij hoge graad van trial and error. Het streven is om een flexibel hersenimplantaat te ontwikkelen op een polymeer-substraat dat dan kan dienen als algemeen platform voor diverse typen implantaten.

Lecture on Electroceuticals: getting better with electricity

Lecture on Electroceuticals: getting better with electricity

Lecture on Electroceuticals: getting better with electricity

On May 6, 2015, Collegerama of TU Delft made video recordings of the lecture I gave on Electroceuticals.

Electroceuticals are the electronic counterparts of pharmaceuticals and are miniature electronic devices that interact with the body in an electrical fashion.

In this talk I discuss: neurostimulation and the need to make neurostimulators smaller, more power efficient and more intelligent; optogenetic neuromodulation and the need to make this new neuromodulation modality operate in a closed-loop fashion; neurosensing devices to make neurostimulators intelligent and thereby adjust themselves to the therapeutical needs of the patient; autonomous wireless sensor nodes that can measure temperature or the electrocardiogram without the need for a battery; an outlook into the future of electroceuticals with the promise to treat a larger variety of neurological and brain disorders better.

Click here to start watching the video and slides:

https://collegerama.tudelft.nl/Mediasite/Play/cc7888beb88349c1a60c1414476b577a1d?catalog=528e5b24-a2fc-4def-870e-65bd84b28a8c

Electroceuticals: the Shocking Future of Brain Zapping

Electroceuticals are the electronic counterparts of pharmaceuticals

“It’s all in your head—those icky feelings, all that fog—and chemicals just aren’t that great at cutting through. That’s why scientists are experimenting with changing the brain game by tweaking its circuitry, rather than the chemical processes.

It might be a bit unnerving to us seasoned pill-poppers, but some believe that electrical currents could be the new wave in everything cerebral, from treating depression and addiction to enhancements that would enable those seeking that mental edge to learn new skills faster or remember more.”

Read more at: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/electroceuticals-the-shocking-future-of-brain-zapping.

We cured several mice from epilepsy!

The cerebellum might be able to stop epileptic seizures

A single short-lasting (30-300 ms) optogenetic stimulation of the cerebellum (the small brains) abruptly stopped generalized spike-wave discharges (GSWDs) as occur, e.g., in absence epileptic seizures, even when applied unilaterally. Using a closed-loop system absence seizures were detected and stopped within 500 ms.

If you want to read more about the neuroscientific aspects, click here. If you want to read more about the epilepsy detector we developed, click here.

We are now working on our next mission: to reliably detect other forms of epileptic seizures and to study cerebellar nuclei further and their potential therapeutic benefit for controlling other types of generalized epilepsies.

Exciting times ahead, if you ask me, and not only for mice.

Building a Bionic Nervous System

Electroceuticals Inside!

“It’s an electrifying time to be in neuroscience. Using implanted devices that send pulses of electricity through the nervous system, physicians are learning how to influence the neural systems that control people’s bodies and minds. These devices give neurologists new ways to treat patients with a wide range of disorders, including epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. So far, these stimulators have been oneway devices that deliver a steady sequence of pulses to the nervous system but can’t react to changes in the patient’s body. Now, at last, medical device companies are coming out with dynamic neural stimulators that have a bit of “brain” themselves. These smart systems can detect changes in a physiological signal and then respond by delivering a therapy or adjusting the patient’s treatment in real time.”

Abstract of a paper by Tim Denison, Milton Morris and Felice Sun in IEEE Spectrum, Febr. 2015, DOI: 10.1109/MSPEC.2015.7024509.

A new name, but Biomedical Electronic remains

Biomedical Electronics Lab

Dear Reader,

The Biomedical Electronics Group underwent a small name change. From now onwards, the group is called “The Biomedical Electronics Laboratory”.

Its mission is “to provide the technology for the successful monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of cortical, neural, cardiac and muscular disorders by means of electroceuticals.”

To this end it conducts research on, provides education in and helps creating new businesses in neuroprosthetics, biosignal conditioning / detection, transcutaneous wireless communication, power management, energy harvesting and bioinspired circuits and systems.

Quote from Michael Merzenich

While reading, correcting and enjoying the essay of Jose Manuel Rosas Escobar, I stumbled on a quote from Michael Merzenich, which I think you should read and comtemplate on.
So here goes…
“The success with any complicated prosthetic device relates as much to how the brain adjusts to it, accepts it and controls its use as it does to the device itself. If we can figure out how to engage the brain to do its part, it can make a merely adequate neural prosthetic device work marvelously.”

Wouter

First implantation of a vestibular implant

Today it was reported in ‘De Volkskrant’ that doctors of Maastricht University Medical Center have succeeded in, for the first time ever, implanting an artificial balance organ, a vestibular implant, in two patients. A vestibular implant is more or less a cochlear implant that relays information on orientation and accelleration onto the hair cells in the vestibula, the small organ attached to the cochlea that assists in preserving balance. According to Prof. Robert Stokroos of UMCM, the first measurements after the surgery showed positive results. Very important, as far as I understand, will be whether the vestibular implant will allow for perfect integration of the balance information delivered by the implant and the balance perceived by the eyes.

Despite all this, I believe we have exciting times ahead for the application of novel neurostimulating devices.

Wouter

Lecture “Chips voor het Brein” in Het Paard van Troje, Den Haag, March 14, 20:00 hrs

My best guess is that the following presentation will be in Dutch. 

Unfortunately, they forgot to invite us to participate in the presentation, as we are the only groep in the Netherlands that actually does research on Chips for the Brain.

Wouter

CHIPS VOOR HET BREIN

Lezing door Nick Ramsey, UMCU
Paard van Troje
Prinsegracht 12
2512 GA Den Haag
Woensdag, 14 maart 2012, 20:00 uur
Grote Zaal
 
[Hieronderstaande tekst is afkomstig van: http://www.paard.nl/event/CHIPS-VOOR-HET-BREIN]

Op vertoon van je studentenpas is de toegang gratis.

Volledig verlamd en gezond van verstand, je hersenen zijn intact maar
je kunt niet communiceren. En niemand die je kan helpen.
Neurowetenschapper Nick Ramsey heeft een plan, hij werkt met zijn team
aan een miniatuur computer die direct met de hersenen in verbinding
staat. Hij wil die neuroprothese gaan implanteren bij verlamden zodat ze
kunnen twitteren, en apparaten kunnen aanzetten met alleen hun
gedachten. Tijdens de NIHC-publiekslezing geeft Ramsey de belofte van
hersenimplantaten prijs. Hij is er klaar voor, bent u dat ook?

Nick Ramsey is als hoogleraar cognitieve psychologie verbonden aan
het Rudolf Magnus Instituut en aan de afdeling neurochirurgie van het
Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht. Hij brengt de specifieke
hersenfuncties in kaart. In 2006 ontving hij voor zijn onderzoek een
prestigieuze ‘Vici-subsidie’ ter grootte van 1,25 miljoen Euro. Sinds
2009 is hij coördinator van de onderzoekspijler Gezondheid van het
NIHC-onderzoeksprogramma Hersenen en Cognitie: Maatschappelijke
Innovatie.

Over NIHC
Het Nationaal Initiatief Hersenen en
Cognitie (NIHC) is een regieorgaan waarbinnen onder anderen
taalwetenschappers, ICT-ers, psychiaters, neurologen, biologen,
psychologen en pedagogen samen wetenschappelijk onderzoek doen naar de
hersenen en hun invloed op menselijk gedrag en de maatschappij. Het NIHC
streeft naar excellent onderzoek voor een beter begrip van hersenen en
gedrag, maar ook naar toepassing van die onderzoeksresultaten binnen
concrete maatschappelijke vraagstukken. Het Nationaal Initiatief wordt
ondersteund en gecoördineerd door de Nederlandse Organisatie voor
Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO). Meer over NIHC op
www.hersenenencognitie.nl. 

Future treatment of Neurological disorders: Neuromodulation through Deep Brain Stimulation

In recent years, neuromodulation has proved to be a feasible alternative in the treatment of the increasingly common neurological conditions. This essay describes deep brain stimulation as a treatment option for neurological disorders. First, a brief history of brain stimulation is presented followed by a description of the mechanisms of action and the surgical procedure. The current technology is not perfect and many of the complications which arise from deep brain stimulation are hardware related. These complications can be addressed by the further development of intelligent leads, new power generation methods and a less invasive technique.