Uploaded by Dennis Biagini

Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone

advertisement
6/8/2019
Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone -- ScienceDaily
Your source for the latest research news
Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone
Date:
Source:
Summary:
August 5, 2019
University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
A team of scientists have invented a device that can control neural circuits using a tiny brain
implant controlled by a smartphone. The device could speed up efforts to uncover brain
diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, addiction, depression, and pain.
FULL STORY
Credit: © phonlamaiphoto / Adobe Stock
A team of scientists in Korea and the United States have invented a device that can
control neural circuits using a tiny brain implant controlled by a smartphone.
Researchers, publishing in Nature Biomedical Engineering, believe the device can speed up efforts to uncover
brain diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, addiction, depression, and pain.
The device, using Lego-like replaceable drug cartridges and powerful bluetooth low-energy, can target specific
neurons of interest using drug and light for prolonged periods.
"The wireless neural device enables chronic chemical and optical neuromodulation that has never been
achieved before," said lead author Raza Qazi, a researcher with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and
Technology (KAIST) and University of Colorado Boulder.
Qazi said this technology significantly overshadows conventional methods used by neuroscientists, which
usually involve rigid metal tubes and optical fibers to deliver drugs and light. Apart from limiting the subject's
movement due to the physical connections with bulky equipment, their relatively rigid structure causes lesion in
soft brain tissue over time, therefore making them not suitable for long-term implantation. Though some efforts
have been put to partly mitigate adverse tissue response by incorporating soft probes and wireless platforms,
the previous solutions were limited by their inability to deliver drugs for long periods of time as well as their
bulky and complex control setups.
To achieve chronic wireless drug delivery, scientists had to solve the critical challenge of exhaustion and
evaporation of drugs. Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the
University of Washington in Seattle collaborated to invent a neural device with a replaceable drug cartridge,
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190805143525.htm
1/3
6/8/2019
Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone -- ScienceDaily
which could allow neuroscientists to study the same brain circuits for several months without worrying about
running out of drugs.
These 'plug-n-play' drug cartridges were assembled into a brain implant for mice with a soft and ultrathin probe
(thickness of a human hair), which consisted of microfluidic channels and tiny LEDs (smaller than a grain of
salt), for unlimited drug doses and light delivery.
Controlled with an elegant and simple user interface on a smartphone, neuroscientists can easily trigger any
specific combination or precise sequencing of light and drug deliveries in any implanted target animal without
need to be physically inside the laboratory. Using these wireless neural devices, researchers could also easily
setup fully automated animal studies where behaviour of one animal could positively or negatively affect
behaviour in other animals by conditional triggering of light and/or drug delivery.
"This revolutionary device is the fruit of advanced electronics design and powerful micro and nanoscale
engineering," said Jae-Woong Jeong, a professor of electrical engineering at KAIST. "We are interested in
further developing this technology to make a brain implant for clinical applications."
Michael Bruchas, a professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pharmacology at the University of
Washington School of Medicine, said this technology will help researchers in many ways.
"It allows us to better dissect the neural circuit basis of behaviour, and how specific neuromodulators in the
brain tune behaviour in various ways," he said. "We are also eager to use the device for complex
pharmacological studies, which could help us develop new therapeutics for pain, addiction, and emotional
disorders."
The researchers at the Jeong group at KAIST develop soft electronics for wearable and implantable devices,
and the neuroscientists at the Bruchas lab at the University of Washington study brain circuits that control
stress, depression, addiction, pain and other neuropsychiatric disorders. This global collaborative effort among
engineers and neuroscientists over a period of three consecutive years and tens of design iterations led to the
successful validation of this powerful brain implant in freely moving mice, which researchers believe can truly
speed up the uncovering of brain and its diseases.
This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea, U.S. National Institute of
Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Mallinckrodt Professorship.
Story Source:
Materials provided by University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine. Note: Content may be
edited for style and length.
Journal Reference:
1. Raza Qazi, Adrian M. Gomez, Daniel C. Castro, Zhanan Zou, Joo Yong Sim, Yanyu Xiong, Jonas Abdo,
Choong Yeon Kim, Avery Anderson, Frederik Lohner, Sang-Hyuk Byun, Byung Chul Lee, Kyung-In Jang,
Jianliang Xiao, Michael R. Bruchas, Jae-Woong Jeong. Wireless optofluidic brain probes for chronic
neuropharmacology and photostimulation. Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2019; DOI:
10.1038/s41551-019-0432-1
Cite This Page:
MLA
APA
Chicago
University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine. "Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using
smartphone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2019.
<www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190805143525.htm>.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190805143525.htm
2/3
6/8/2019
Scientists can now manipulate brain cells using smartphone -- ScienceDaily
RELATED STORIES
3D-Printed Transparent Skull Provides a Window to the Brain
Apr. 2, 2019 — Researchers have developed a unique 3D-printed transparent skull implant for mice that
provides an opportunity to watch activity of the entire brain surface in real time. The device allows ...
read more 
Advance Stem Cell Therapy With Biodegradable Scaffold
Nov. 5, 2018 — Scientists have created a tiny, biodegradable scaffold to transplant stem cells and deliver
drugs, which may help treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, aging brain degeneration, spinal cord ...
read more 
AI Device Identifies Objects at the Speed of Light
Aug. 2, 2018 — Electrical and computer engineers have created a physical artificial neural network -- a device
modeled on how the human brain works -- that can analyze large volumes of data and identify objects at ...
read more 
Ending Chronic Pain With New Drug Therapy
Dec. 21, 2015 — A brain region controlling whether we feel happy or sad, as well as addiction, is remodeled by
chronic pain, reports a new study. And in a significant breakthrough, scientists have developed a new ...
read more 
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190805143525.htm
3/3
Download
Random flashcards
Radiobiology

39 Cards

Pastoralists

20 Cards

Marketing

46 Cards

Ethnology

14 Cards

Create flashcards