Current brain machine interface (BMI) systems have shown success in providing relief for some central nervous system (CNS) disorders caused by disease or trauma. Unfortunately, widespread utility has been hampered by challenges associated with the configuration of non-invasive external receivers intended to detect in vivo electrical signals. The alternative is an implantable neuronal prosthetic capable of CNS integration allowing direct detection and bi-directional signaling. Unfortunately, these devices elicit chronic immune responses mainly due to their materials of construction which directly lead to decreased functionality and device failure. We have developed a novel material, cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC), that meets all the requirements of an implantable neuronal prosthetic device and addresses the major problems of biocompatibility and passive electric properties.
The specific aims of the application have been designed to rigorously evaluate the biocompatibility of this and other semi-conductor materials in vivo longitudinally, determine the ability of a neuronal activation device constructed of 3C-SiC to elicit excitation and plasticity of organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and generate an implantable electrode device capable of bi-directional communication in vivo. In conjunction with the experimental aims, the applicant will advance his interdisciplinary knowledge, concentrating on disciplines applicable with relating technology to neuroscience, and further develop scientific writing and presentation skills.
This application proposes to study the interaction between the central nervous system and a novel neuronal prosthetic developed by the applicant. This novel device has the potential to improve the lives of people suffering from many neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), trauma resultant from stroke or acute injury, or be to used as an interface to control mechanized artificial limbs.