Neural activity interface systems can access and monitor brain activities in the form of single neuron (action potential or spike) or ensemble of many neurons. Access of this information enables better understanding and prediction of neuronal behavior. One of the most important issues in developing the neural interface system is long-term durability and reliability as well as the safety surrounding the implanted device. Current implanted neural probe approaches for monitoring single neuron activities cannot be used long term due to foreign body reaction of the surrounding tissue, and subsequent signal degradation. On the contrary, methods such as electroencephalography and electrocochleography do not cause serious tissue reaction and allow relatively long-term monitoring; however, these methods monitor activity of collection of neural activities and lack spatial resolution to monitor activity on a single neuron level.
University of Michigan researchers have developed a minimally invasive device that enables monitoring of intracranial neural activity. As the electrodes do not penetrate the dura mater, the procedure is less invasive and less prone to infection. For efficient transmission of neural activities, the device communicates wirelessly. In addition, the design of this device facilitates full implantation inside the cranium as compared with the typical invasive systems, for which a craniotomy is required for implantation of the electrodes.
Applications and Advantages
- Long-term, minimally invasive wireless monitoring of intracranial neural activity
- Minimally invasive
- Enables telemetry schemes
- Simpler, safer implantation method