New Neural Implants developed by Prof. Cima
June 27, 2018
New technologies such as optogenetics have allowed us to identify similar microstructures in the brain. However, these techniques rely on liquid infusions into the brain, which prepare the regions to be studied to respond to light. These infusions are done with large needles, which do not have the fine control to target specific regions. Clinical therapy has also lagged behind. New drug therapies aimed at treating these conditions are delivered orally, which results in drug distribution throughout the brain, or through large needle-cannulas, which do not have the fine control to accurately dose specific regions. As a result, patients of neurologic and psychiatric disorders frequently fail to respond to therapies due to poor drug delivery to diseased regions.
A new study addressing this problem has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The lead author is Khalil Ramadi, a medical engineering and medical physics (MEMP) PhD candidate in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST). For this study, Khalil and his thesis advisor, Michael Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and associate dean of innovation in the School of Engineering, collaborated with Institute Professors Robert Langer and Ann Graybielto tackle this issue.