Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders

29.09.2016

New sensor design paves the way for safer and more effective brain monitoring.

exible, low-cost sensor technology leading to safer and improved diagnoses and treatment of brain disorders has been developed by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) scientists [1].


Through Polymer Vias based 3D integration simplifies the path towards high-resolution brain machine interfaces. © 2016 KAUST

Mapping the electrical activity of the brain is critical in understanding neurological disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, multielectrode arrays, called Michigan or Utah arrays, are used to monitor brain activity. Made from layers of conductive silicon needles, these rigid devices are inserted through the scalp to monitor the brain’s surface. The needles can cause inflammation of the tissues and so they must be removed within a year.

Muhammad Hussain and Aftab Hussain from the KAUST Integrated Nanotechnology Laboratory and Integrated Disruptive Electronic Applications Laboratory wanted to develop a soft and flexible sensor that could be placed on the surface of the brain within the intracranial space, providing better contact and reducing the risk of damage to tissues.

“Sensors require associated electronics to interface with us, and these electronics dissipate heat causing a burning effect in the brain which can permanently damage tissues,” explains Muhammad Hussain. “The challenge is to keep the electronics away from the brain.”

Working within these parameters, they fabricated a sensor made from gold electrodes encased in a polymer coating with their connections oriented vertically, and, by placing the connectors on top of the sensor and allowing them to pass through the polymer support, an integrated circuit (IC) could be attached to the flip side of the device, isolating it from the brain surface and preventing hotspots.

The intracranial space of the brain presents an area of only 64 cm2 for mapping more than 80 billion neurons, so not only is it safer to prevent the electronics from making contact with the brain, it also maximizes the number of neurons that can be monitored by the sensor array.

“The sensor is in contact with the soft tissues of the brain, where it collects activity data, and the IC is placed on top, with a soft insulating polymeric material separating them, allowing a larger area to be mapped and a reduction in the heating effect,” says Hussain.

By using state-of-the-art technology, used for fabricating integrated circuits, the researchers have developed a method that could lead to mass-produced sensors that are safer, have improved mapping capabilities, and are also robust enough for long lasting functionality.

“We are currently collaborating with Harvard-MIT Medical Institute on using the technique to improve the efficiency of the mapping interface system,” says Hussain.

Associated links

Journal information

[1] Hussain, A.M. and Hussain, M.M. Deterministic integration of out-of-plane sensor arrays for flexible electronic applications. Small, 25 July 2016 (doi: 10.1002/smll.201600952).

Michelle D'Antoni | Research SEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht 3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University

nachricht New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>