Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rensselaer Researchers Develop Heat Spreader For Epileptic Seizure Treatment Device

Date:
August 3, 2005
Source:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers are developing a tiny, highly efficient heat spreader to be used in a new device to be implanted in the brain of patients who suffer from severe epileptic seizures. The implant device is designed to detect and arrest epileptic seizures as they begin by cooling a small region of the brain, thereby effectively blocking the erratic electrical activity.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers are developing a tiny, highly efficient heat spreader to be used in a new device to be implanted in the brain of patients who suffer from severe epileptic seizures. (Graphic courtesy of G. P. "Bud" Peterson)

TROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers are developing a tiny, highly efficient heat spreader to be used in a new device to be implanted in the brain of patients who suffer from severe epileptic seizures. The implant device is designed to detect and arrest epileptic seizures as they begin by cooling a small region of the brain, thereby effectively blocking the erratic electrical activity.

Related Articles


G. P. “Bud” Peterson, provost and professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer, and his team are collaborating with researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis to design, model, test, and develop the implant device. The research and the potential of the device are featured in the July 16 issue of New Scientist.

The heat spreader being developed at Rensselaer utilizes a phase-change heat process, the same mechanism that the human body uses to cool itself, to transfer and distribute heat in the brain. The fundamental principal behind the operation of the heat spreader is evaporation and condensation, similar to perspiration. Using a pure substance, saturated conditions are created inside the heat pipe, resulting in evaporation in the heated regions. Heat entering the pipe turns the liquid water to vapor, which is forced along the pipe by high pressure where it is condensed in the cooler regions. The dissipated heat is then pushed out of the heat pipe, and the wicking structure pumps the liquid back to the evaporator.

“The heat spreader we created for this implant device acts as a very efficient thermal conductor, spreading and releasing the heat without minimal temperature increase, thereby preventing any potential tissue damage to the brain,” said Peterson. “The brain can tolerate temperature reductions on the order of 18 to 20C without sustaining permanent damage. However, the brain cannot tolerate temperature increases over 0.5C. This requires that the heat both absorbed and generated by the device be spread across a much larger surface area.”

Implanted on the neocortex of the brain, close to where erratic electrical activity is causing the epileptic seizure, the implant device is designed to detect the unusual level of electrical activity that accompanies these types of seizures. The implant device then is activated to cool a small area of the brain from approximately 38C (100F) to 20C (68F) to render that part of the brain temporarily non-functional and seizure-free, according to researchers.

The implant device works as a very small “thermoelectric refrigerator,” approximately 0.25 inches on a side, consisting of many tiny metal semiconductor junctions connected between two ceramic electrodes to create an electronic circuit. The result is an implantable device in which one side is cooled and other is heated as electrical current moves through it. The heat spreader being developed by Peterson and his team, allows the heat generated and absorbed by the implant device to be effectively released without a significant increase in temperature.

The implant device has been successfully tested on rats and has been approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for testing in primates. Researchers expect the device will provide a new methodology for the treatment of epileptic seizures in humans.

Peterson has conducted research on heat pipes and related two-phase heat transfer devices for 25 years, holds eight patents, and is the author or co-author of more than 145 peer-reviewed journal articles in fields as diverse as electronics and spacecraft thermal control, energy recovery systems, biomedical applications, and the cooling of valve stems in internal combustion engines.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Rensselaer Researchers Develop Heat Spreader For Epileptic Seizure Treatment Device." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063908.htm>.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (2005, August 3). Rensselaer Researchers Develop Heat Spreader For Epileptic Seizure Treatment Device. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063908.htm
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Rensselaer Researchers Develop Heat Spreader For Epileptic Seizure Treatment Device." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050727063908.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins