Skip to comments.Wayne State University researchers win grant from the NSF to target tinnitus
Posted on 06/21/2011 7:40:30 AM PDT by Red Badger
DETROIT A team of Wayne State University researchers was awarded $330,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a 3-D neural probe. Their aim is to develop an implantable device that will suppress tinnitus, a neurological disorder that affects more than 250 million people worldwide.
With the ever-expanding knowledge in the fields of neuroscience and neurosurgery, there is an increasing need for devices and tools that enable neuroscientists to delve deeper into the physiological and pathological function of neural tissue at the level of groups of neurons. A variety of neural probes developed have significantly contributed to important discoveries within the neuroscience community. Despite this steady progress over the past two decades, there is a strong demand for improved probes with new functionality. The Wayne State team will address this need by developing a 3-D neural probe that simplifies the fabrication and assembly process of high-density 3-D arrays of electrodes.
Yong Xu, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and resident of Troy, Mich., and Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D. associate professor and associate research director of otolaryngology, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, and resident of Troy, said the project, "A novel 3-dimensional neural probe technology combining electrical and chemical interfaces," is based on a flexible skin structure and simple folding procedure. The technology will enable the integration of micro-channels for neurotransmitter-based chemical stimulation and local delivery of various drugs for biocompatibility improvement.
The team aims to develop next generation 3-D neural probes that can electrically and chemically stimulate neurons with greater efficacy and can monitor neural activity from deeper regions of the brain.
"One highly desirable feature is 3-D array of electrodes to monitor or modulate neural activities with 3-D spatial resolution," said Xu. "In addition, it is very advantageous to integrate micro-channels that enable neurotransmitter-based chemical stimulation and local drug delivery to reduce or suppress tissue response, one of the major obstacles for successful chronic implantation. Currently there is no good method of making 3-D array of electrodes, let alone the integration of micro-channels with 3-D arrays of electrodes."
Naturalistic chemical stimulation using integrated micro-channels could address some of the issues concerning pure electrical stimulation of neural probes, such as poor spatial resolution, degradation of metal electrodes, and water hydrolysis due to the large stimulation currents and charges required to depolarize the neuron cells. In addition, the fabrication process is post-complementary metaloxidesemiconductor (CMOS) compatible, allowing the monolithic integration of CMOS circuits with neural probes using an economical post-CMOS process.
"These important features will help us become the leader in the new round of worldwide races to develop the next generation neural probes," said Xu. "The successful development of the implantable device will be useful for treating a variety of neurological disorders, such as refractory paralysis, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, blindness and tinnitus."
Xu and Zhang will target tinnitus suppression with the implantable neural probe they are developing. Tinnitus affects 50 million Americans and more than 250 million people worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately three to four million people are debilitated by the condition.
Currently, there is no reliable treatment for tinnitus. Pharmacologic treatment and rehabilitation can improve the emotional and psychological reaction to tinnitus, but this therapy has been unreliable and requires long periods of time and a considerable amount of patient compliance. Recent clinical studies have shown that stimulation of the auditory cortex through transcranial magnetic stimulation or direct electrical stimulation has acute or longer-lasting suppressive effects, providing a new hope in finding an effective and reliable therapy.
"Our recent work has shown that electrical stimulation is a promising method to suppress tinnitus," said Zhang. "Once we better understand the mechanisms underlying electrical and chemical stimulation-induced suppression, we will be fully focused on advancing the engineering fabrication to create a minimally- or even non-invasive medical device for diagnosis and treatment."
Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu
Tinnitus RING List!..............
I would probably feel lost without my tinnitus!
Please ad me to your RING list.
Just use that Quietus product I heard advertised on the AM radio. Problem solved.
Done! ............You CAN hear me now!..................
S C A M . . . . . . . .
You’re probably right. Living without the tinnitus I developed as a missileer in the 70s would be strange at first but it would be interesting to be without it. It didn’t affect my military career or limit my life in general but it is a nuisance and does come on loud at times.
Are you suggesting that a product I heard of on the AM radio, might be less than 100% effective and truthful?
My world has been shaken to it's deepest foundations.
You're doin’ a heck of job there, WSU.
That's my alma momma, BSBA 1967. No sooner than that degree was achieved, I fled Detroit.
We get these TV commercials down here in FLORIDA advertising MICHIGAN as a place to go for VACATION.................
Do I have ringing in my ears or do I have ringing in my ears! Thanks Navy!
Looked it up on the net. It has 2 1/2 stars.
Here’s a copy and paste from that site:
“2011 Tinnitus Treatment: Quietus (Cost will vary) 1 Month Plan Around $100.00
Quietus is a new type of Tinnitus remedy. It is also a holistic remedy and tries to support the bodys healing mechanism to cancel ringing and other symptoms.
This is not an ebook and is instead a series of pills the customer takes over time. The pills include organic ingredients such as M. Chamomilla and Aristolochia Clematis thought to address symptoms.
Overall, this is an exciting program that is looking to make steps in Tinnitus treatment. After reviewing, though, the treatment is *not as effective* as our top choices and results may vary. Also, there is no small one time payment like our other top choices. Customers will continue paying for the medication over time”
I just try to shut the ringing out of my mind, until it changes frequency.
I am encouraged by the medical professions research into tinnitus, I suspect this research will continue past my grave. Even if they found a cure today, it would be many years for FDA approval.