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Neuroelectronic System Can Read and Modify Brain Circuits

Researchers learned about the Brain and found that it is clear that responsive Neurostimulation is becoming increasingly effective at probing Brain Circuit function and treating neuropsychiatric disorders, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. The study was published today by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Current approaches are designed implantable and biocompatible devices that can make such interventions have major limitations. Their resolution isn’t high enough and most require large, bulky components that make implantation difficult with the risk of complications. A Columbia Engineering team led by Dion Khodagholy, assistant professor of electrical engineering, has come up with a new approach that shows great promise to improve such devices.

Building on their earlier work to develop smaller, more efficient conformable bioelectronic transistors and materials, the researchers orchestrated their devices to create high-performance implantable circuits that enable reading and manipulation of Brain Circuit. Their multiplex-then-amplify system requires only one amplifier per multiplexer, in contrast to current approaches that need an equal number of amplifiers as the number of channels.

Khodagholy, a leader in bio- and neuro electronics design said that it is critical to be able to detect and intervene to treat brain-disorder-related symptoms, such as epileptic seizures in real-time. Not only is our system much smaller and more flexible than current devices, but it also enables simultaneous stimulation of arbitrary waveforms on many independent channels.

To record, detect, and localize epileptic discharges, scientists recorded brain activity in multiple locations with high temporal resolution. This requires the high-sampling-rate multi-channel acquisition and stimulation devices and circuits. Conventional circuits need an equal number of amplifying circuits as the number of channels before they can integrate these signals into a stream of data using multiplexing. This increases the size of the Brain Circuit linearly with the number of channels.

As the team continued to make their electrodes more effective, lowering impedance by using a conducting polymer, they suddenly wondered what would happen if they took advantage of their electrode improvements in circuit design and placed the multiplexer in front of, rather than after, the amplifier.

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