Category Archives: Brain

3D, real-scale blood brain barrier model used to study new therapeutics

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Gianni Ciofani  of ITT Pisa has created a device that reproduces a 1:1 scale model of the blood-brain barrier.  The combination of 3D printed artificial and biological components will allow the study of new therapeutic strategies to overcome the blood-brain barrier and treat brain diseases, including tumors, Alzheimers, and multiple sclerosis.

A laser that scans through a liquid photopolymer and solidifies the material locally and layer by layer built complex 3D objects with submicron resolution.  This enabled the researchers to engineer an accurate real-scale model of the BBB made from a photopolymer resin. Mimicking the brain microcapillaries, the model consists of a microfluidic system of 50 parallel cylindrical channels connected by junctions and featuring pores on the cylinder walls. Each of the tubular structures has a diameter of 10 μm and pores of 1 μm diameter uniformly distributed on all cylinders. After the fabrication of the complex scaffold-like polymer structure, endothelial cells were cultivated around the porous microcapillary system. Covering the 3D printed structure, the cells built a biological barrier resulting in a biohybrid system which resembles its natural model. The device is few millimeters big and fluids can pass through it at the same pressure as blood in brain vessels.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Shreyas Shah– Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide – David Sarno – Peter Fischer

**LAST TICKETS AVAILABLE

Lightweight, highly portable, brain-controlled exoskeleton

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EPFL’s José Millán has developed a brain-controlled, highly portable exoskeleton, that can be quickly  secured around joints with velcro. Metal cables act as soft tendons on the back of each finger, with the palm free to feel hand sensations.  Motors that push and pull the cables are worn on the chest. Fingers are flexed when the cables are pushed and extended when they are pulled.

The control interface can be eye-movement monitoring, phone-based voice controls, residual muscular activity, or EEG-driven brainwave analysis. Hand motions induced by the device elicited brain patterns typical of healthy hand motions.  Exoskeleton-induced hand motions combined with the brain interface lead to unusual neural patterns that could facilitate control of the device. Contralateral brain activity was observed in people who passively received hand motion by the exoskeleton. When subjects were asked to control the exoskeleton with their thoughts, same-side patterns were consistent.

Click to view EPFL video


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston – Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide – David Sarno – Peter Fischer

Registration rates increase on January 26th

 

Closed loop EEG/BCI/VR/physical therapy system to control gait, prosthetics

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Earlier this year, University of Houston’s Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal developed a closed-loop BCI/EEG/VR/physical therapy system to control gait as part of a stroke/spinal cord injury rehab program.  The goal was to promote and enhance cortical involvement during walking.

In a study, 8 subjects walked on a treadmill while watching an avatar and wearing a 64 channel EEG headset and motion sensors at the hip, knee and ankle.

The avatar was first activated by the motion sensors, allowing its movement to precisely mimic that of the test subject. It was  then controlled by the brain-computer interface, although this was less precise than the movement with the motion sensors. Contreras-Vidal believes that as subjects learn how to use the interface, the result will be closer to that of the sensors. The researchers reported increased activity in the posterior parietal cortex and the inferior parietal lobe, along with increased involvement of the anterior cingulate cortex.

The team built on this reasearch  to demonstrate how brain activity is used to identify different terrains to develop prosthetics that automatically adjust to changing ground conditions in real time. 

Click to view University of Houston video


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston – Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide – David Sarno – Peter Fischer

Registration rates increase on January 26th

Biodegradable piezoelectric sensor monitors lungs, brain

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UConn’s Thanh Duc Nguyen has developed a biodegradable pressure sensor to monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other health issues.

It is small and flexible and designed to replace existing, potentially toxic, implantable pressure sensors. Those sensors must be removed, subjecting patients to another invasive procedure, prolonging recovery, and increasing infection risk.

The piezoelectric device can also be used for electrical stimulation of tissue, as it emits a small electrical charge when pressure is applied. Other potential applications include monitoring glaucoma, heart disease, and bladder cancer.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston – Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide – David Sarno – Peter Fischer

Registration rates increase – January 19th

Neural microcircuits mapped in greater detail; surrounding tissue left intact

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Andreas Schaefer and Francis Crick Institute colleagues have developed a brain mapping technique that is said to be far more comprehensive than previous methods, and could be a breakthrough if successfully tested on human brains.  It has, so far, only been tested on mice.

250 cells that make up a microcircuit in part of a mouse brain that processes smell can now be mapped, with out the surrounding tissue being damaged. This is unprecedented, and can be used to understand the architecture of different parts of the brain.

A series of tiny holes near the end of a micropipette enabled the use of charged dyes that distribute electrical current over a wide area,  staining cells without damaging them. Unlike when viral vectors are used, 100% of the cells in the microcircuit could be stained.

According to Schaefer, “now that we have a tool of mapping these tiny units, we can start to interfere with specific cell types to see how they directly control behaviour and sensory processing.”


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston – Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide – David Sarno – Peter Fischer

Registration rates increase today – January 16th

Acoustic stimulation reduced PTSD symptoms in small study

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Wake Forest’s Charles H. Tegeler has found that non-invasive brainwave mirroring technology significantly reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress in soldiers.

High-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM) is used as a non-invasive, closed-loop, acoustic stimulation approach. Algorithms translate brain frequencies into audible tones in real-time.

Tegeler compares this to an “acoustic mirror.” Through resonance between brain frequencies and acoustic stimulation, the brain makes self-adjustments to improve balance and reduce hyperarousal, with no conscious, cognitive activity. This supports the brain to reset stress response patterns that  caused by repetitive traumatic events.

In a small study, reductions in post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood, and anxiety were observed in subjects for  six months after the HIRREM protocol.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston – Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide

Registration rates increase Friday, January 5th.

Video: George Church on reading and writing brain structures and functions

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Recorded at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 19th at the MIT Media Lab


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston – Walter Greenleaf – Jacobo Penide

Video: Roz Picard on wrist-sensed stress, seizure & brain data

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Recorded at ApplySci’s Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Boston conference on September 19th at the MIT Media Lab


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli – Juan-Pablo Mas – Michael Eggleston

Registration rates increase today, December 1st

Vibrating sensors could detect TBI, disease, infection in drop of blood

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Purdue’s Jeffrey RhoadsGeorge Chiu, and Eric Nauman have developed a method to identify biological markers in small amounts of blood that they believe can detect diseases and infections and conditions such as traumatic brain injury at an early stage. An array of sensors  enable statistical-based detection

The small, cheap vibrating sensors use a piezoelectrically actuated resonant microsystem to detect biomarkers in one or two drops of blood. When driven by electricity, they can sense a change in mass. The sensitivity of the resonator increases as the resonant frequency increases.

The technology  could be used for the early detection of traumatic brain injury in athletes  The Purdue Neurotrauma Group found that concussions are usually caused by multiple hits over time, and not by a single blow. Research into the effects of repeated head impacts on high school football players has shown changes in brain chemistry and metabolism, even in players who have not been diagnosed with concussions.

The test can detect minute amounts of proteins, including protein from glial cells, which surround neurons in the brain. The proteins are secreted in relatively high concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of victims of traumatic brain injury. Prior studies have found that a small amount of fluid leaked through the blood-brain barrier and got into the bloodstream of victims.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli

Registration rates increase December 1, 2017

 

Small, foam hearable captures heart data

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In a small study, Danilo Mandic from Imperial College London has shown that his hearable can be used to capture heart data. The device detected heart pulse by sensing the dilation and constriction of tiny blood vessels in the ear canal, using the mechanical part of the electro-mechanical sensor. The hearable is made of foam and molds to the shape of the ear. The goal is a comfortable and discreet continuous monitor that will enable physicians to receive extensive data. In addition to the device’s mechanical sensors, Mandic, a signal processing experter, claims that electrical sensors detect brain activity that could  monitor sleep, epilepsy, and drug delivery, and be used in personal authentication and cyber security.

Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + Neurotech Silicon Valley on February 26-27, 2018 at Stanford University. Speakers include:  Vinod Khosla – Justin Sanchez – Brian Otis – Bryan Johnson – Zhenan Bao – Nathan Intrator – Carla Pugh – Jamshid Ghajar – Mark Kendall – Robert Greenberg – Darin Okuda – Jason Heikenfeld – Bob Knight – Phillip Alvelda – Paul Nuyujukian –  Peter Fischer – Tony Chahine – Shahin Farshchi – Ambar Bhattacharyya – Adam D’Augelli

Registration rates increase November 24th, 2017