Ultrathin flexible brain implant offers unique look at seizures in NIH-funded research
13 November 2011
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a flexible brain implant that could one day be used to treat epileptic seizures. In animal studies, the researchers used the device — a type of electrode array that conforms to the brain's surface — to take an unprecedented look at the brain activity underlying seizures.
"Someday, these flexible arrays could be used to pinpoint where seizures start in the brain and perhaps to shut them down," said Brian Litt, M.D., the principal investigator and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. The findings appear in this month's Nature Neuroscience. The team will also discuss their findings at the 2011 Society for Neuroscience meeting, Nov. 12-16 in Washington, D.C.
"This group's work reflects a confluence of skills and advances in electrical engineering, materials science and neurosurgery," said Story Landis, Ph.D., director of NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), which helped fund the work. "These flexible electrode arrays could significantly expand surgical options for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy."
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