The BRAIN Initiative, Deep Stimulation and Diamonds

Neurosurgeon Kendall H. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., discusses limb reanimation after spinal cord injury with Kevin E. Bennet, Engineering chair at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Lee is the director and Bennet is the codirector of Mayo's Neural Engineering Laboratory. Bennet's team has developed electronic circuits for use in deep brain stimulation, software and integrated circuits for the development of measurement of neurotransmitters, and specialized electrodes used for the measurement of neurotransmitters long-term. The specialized electrodes will be implanted into the brain with the neurostimulation electrode that keeps track of neurotransmitters being released. The team decided to use diamond sensors for reliability.

The BRAIN Initiative has received a National Institutes of Health U01 grant to develop next-generation devices for implantation and stimulation directly into the spinal cord. The hope is that the next-generation devices will be more effective than the existing external epidural stimulator devices being used in the current study, says Bennet. 

For more information, see Detection of Neurotransmitter Absolute Concentrations With Diamond Electrodes from the Mayo Clinic 2015 Symposium on the BRAIN Initiative.

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