Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neural Probe Developed That Will Limit Damage To Cells And Biological Tissue

Date:
October 23, 2008
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
Engineering researchers have just developed a neural probe that demonstrates significantly greater electrical charge storage capacity than all other neural prosthetic devices to date. More charge storage capacity means the device can stimulate nerves and tissues with less damage and sense neural signals with better sensitivity.

Neural probes with nanowire electrodes.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a neural probe that demonstrates significantly greater electrical charge storage capacity than all other neural prosthetic devices. More charge storage capacity means the device can stimulate nerves and tissues with less damage and sense neural signals with better sensitivity.

Findings of the project were published in Nanotechnology 2008 and will be included in an upcoming issue of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

The neural probe, made of gold and iridium oxide nanowires grown vertically on a polymer or titanium substrate, will improve the function and reliability of neural prosthetic devices. It has also displayed superior biocompatibility and mechanical strength compared to similar silicon structures.

“Our goal is to develop functional systems that can simultaneously stimulate nerves or muscle cells and record physiological changes in the human body,” said Hargsoon Yoon, research assistant professor in the College of Engineering and lead researcher on the project. “Our approach can minimize cell damage and even provide higher electrode efficiency than commonly used electrodes.”

Needle probes are used as neural prostheses to help improve quality of life for patients with severe impairments. Current clinical applications of neural prosthetics include cochlear and retinal implants, cardiac pacing and defibrillation, restoration of urinary bladder function, functional electrical stimulation in paralyzed individuals and deep brain stimulation for people with Parkinson’s disease and Tourette syndrome.

The research team, based at the university’s Center for Wireless Nano-, Bio- and Info-Tech Sensor and Systems, developed probes that integrate free-standing, “hetero-structured” nanowires. Hetero-structured means the nanowires have an inner core and outer layer. Made of gold, the inner-core nanowires were grown vertically on titanium and polymer substrates. The outer, functional layer, made of iridium oxide, provides charge storage capacity for neural signal sensing and stimulation.

Researchers repeatedly demonstrated an electrical storage capacity of 48.6 Coulombs per square centimeter. Units of electrical charge are measured in Coulombs. Working with different materials, other major research groups, including teams at Stanford University and University of Southern California, have developed probes with less than half the storage capacity of the University of Arkansas probe.

Because storage capacity is directly related to density of electrical current needed to stimulate nerves and muscle cells, the probe can transfer charge into biological cells and tissues using less voltage – and less battery power – and thus can operate longer with less tissue and cell damage.

“Electrodes with low-charge storage capacity require higher stimulating voltage levels,” Yoon said. “It is this higher voltage that can damage biological tissues and the electrode itself.”

Yoon collaborates with Vijay Varadan, distinguished professor of electrical engineering and director of the university’s High Density Electronics Center, to develop a system that will include nanowire electrodes, wireless communication and a power source for bio-packaging. The wireless network will facilitate closed-loop dynamic adjustments of the system and continuous monitoring of patients during stimulation.

Varadan holds the College of Engineering’s Twenty-First Century Endowed Chair in Nano- and Bio-Technologies and Medicine and the college’s Chair in Microelectronics and High Density Electronics. In addition to his position as director of the above center, he directs the university’s High Density Electronics Center. Varadan is also a professor of neurosurgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Neural Probe Developed That Will Limit Damage To Cells And Biological Tissue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015164334.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2008, October 23). Neural Probe Developed That Will Limit Damage To Cells And Biological Tissue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015164334.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Neural Probe Developed That Will Limit Damage To Cells And Biological Tissue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015164334.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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