Improved deep brain electrodes
Innovative electrode development is crucial to the eventual clinical success of our advanced DBS device. We are developing and testing prototype electrode arrays, as well as surgical tools for the precise and safe positioning of electrodes in appropriately targeted regions of the brain.
Our electrode arrays will incorporate more stimulation contacts, will be more flexible to minimise trauma during implantation, and will be smaller and hence easier to insert and position. Furthermore, they will contain specialised contacts that enable recording of brain activity continuously after implantation.
In preclinical studies, the properties of our thin electrodes – which have a diameter of 0.65 mm – have been compared with those of conventional electrodes, which have twice the diameter. As predicted, insertion of our electrode arrays into the brain required less force and resulted in less trauma. Furthermore, recordings of brain activity were successfully obtained from the experimental array, which incorporates specialised microelectrodes for this purpose.
These initial results are promising for the development of our closed-loop DBS system which will monitor neural activity in the brain to control DBS settings automatically, leading to better outcomes for patients.