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Relief for epilepsy at the scale of a single cell

Relief for epilepsy at the scale of a single cell

Date: August 23, 2016

Source: Linköping University

Summary: Researchers have developed in collaboration with French colleagues a small device that both detects the initial signal of an epileptic attack and doses a substance that effectively stops it. All this takes place where the signal arises — in an area of size 20chr(‘215’)20 μm known as a ‘neural pixel.’

The bioelectronic neural pixel: Chemical stimulation and electrical sensing at the same site

NeuronPixelResearchers at Linköping University have developed in collaboration with French colleagues a small device that both detects the initial signal of an epileptic attack and doses a substance that effectively stops it. All this takes place where the signal arises — in an area of size 20×20 μm known as a “neural pixel.”

The results, from the Laboratory for Organic Electronics at LiU’s Campus Norrköping, have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), with Asst. Prof. Daniel Simon as main author.

According to a recently produced estimate, no less than six percent of the Earth’s population suffers from some type of neurological illness such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s. Some medicines are available, but when these are taken orally or injected into the bloodstream, they also end up where they aren’t needed and may cause serious problems. All medicines have more or less severe side effects, and no fully satisfactory treatment for neurological illnesses is available.

Neurons, or nerve cells, are the cells in the body that both transmit and receive nerve impulses. The small 20×20 μm device developed by the scientists can both capture signals and stop them in the exact area of nerve cells where they arise. No other part of the body needs to be involved.

“Our technology makes it possible to interact with both healthy and sick neurons. We can now start investigating opportunities for finding therapies for neurological illnesses that arise so rapidly and so locally that the patient doesn’t notice them,” says Daniel Simon.

READ MORE AT SOURCE: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160823153237.htm

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