Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Brain Targeting System

Technology #5329

Neuromodulation Systems and Surgical Navigation Similar to cardiac pacemakers, which electrically stimulate cardiac tissues, neurostimulation devices are a rapidly growing and effective approach to treating neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s diseases, tremors, pain, and major depression. Stimulation of tissue deep in the brain, called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is proving increasingly effective; for instance, over 10,000 deep brain stimulation surgeries are performed each year to treat Parkinson’s disease. Despite the increasing adoption of DBS systems, the efficacy and prevalence of these surgeries is limited by the ability to place the stimulation electrodes on the desired brain structure. Current surgical systems combine electrical activity measured with microelectrodes and high-resolution brain imaging techniques to identify the desired brain structure and navigate the electrode placement. The procedure is technically challenging and somewhat subjective, which limits the numbers of neurosurgeouns willing and capable of performing DBS surgeries, increases procedure times and consequently patient risk, and potentially reduces efficacy due to poorly placed electrodes.

Targeting Brain Structures Live in Real Time Neurologists and researchers in the University of Michigan Health System have developed a real-time targeting system that improves the accuracy and speed of DBS surgery and allows generally trained neurosurgeons to perform DBS procedures, potentially allowing for significant market growth. The system combines microstimulation with neural activity recordings to identify structural boundaries in the brain. A proprietary algorithm analyzes this data in real time and predicts the location of relevant structures in the brain. Over the last 2 years, under IRB approval, they have successfully used their intraoperative system in over 40 DBS surgeries. The system provides high spatial resolution, real-time targeting analysis, and the capability to identify structural boundaries resulting in increased spatial accuracy.

Applications: -Targeting of brain structures for DBS therapy for use in Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor, drug-resistant Depression, OCD -Identification of neural tissue vs. abnormal tissue in brain

Advantages: -Enables accurate probe placement during DBS surgery -Reduces surgery time -Reduces patient risk -Increases patient outcome for successful control of disease symptoms -Enables greater number of general neurosurgeons to perform surgery