Neurotechnology works directly with the body’s own nervous system to both monitor physiological signals and modulate the activity, generally with a goal to alleviate disease symptoms. Examples of therapies enabled by neurotechnology include deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s and epilepsy, spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain, and sacral nerve stimulation for incontinence. Despite clinical success in treating symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s, existing neurotechnology has several limitations such as invasiveness and complexity that arguably limit their clinical adoption.
To this end, our research explores new hardware and software platforms for investigating foundational clinical neuroscience and improved treatments for neurological disorders, using multiple physical and algorithmic approaches. To facilitate translation, we collaborate with industry and clinical partners on both tool development and proof-of-concept testing (see highlighted publications). We focus on neurotechnology that provides a high return on investment for the healthcare system, defined as the improvement in patient outcomes relative to the deployment cost. These prototypes often leverage established clinical pathways and commercial systems with a targeted technical upgrade enabling novel functionality. Examples include adding expanding the parameter space of non-invasive brain stimulators using ultrasound or magnetic fields, adding sensing and algorithm circuitry to implantable bioelectronic implants, and using ultrasound to help deliver pharmaceutical agents across the blood-brain barrier. The diversity of these therapeutic applications reflects both the breadth of neurological disorders, and the potential of neurotechnology to address them.