Accelerating neurotechnology for human benefit

Blurring the boundaries between living tissue and electronics

Implantable systems that are capable of behaving like the body, and neither degrade nor cause scar tissue, have multiple clinical applications in neuroprosthetics and drug delivery.

Projects
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The mismatch between soft living tissues and stiff electronic implants hinders the long-term success of neuroprostheses implanted into the body.

The goal of this Wyss Center project, being led by Professor Stéphanie P. Lacour, Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is to build on the successful development of soft implantable electronics that mimic the shape and elasticity of the dura mater, the membrane that protects the brain and spinal cord.

This electronic dura mater, known as e-dura, will be a thin, elastic, microelectrode array created from silicone rubber that sits on the surface of the brain. The embedded microelectrodes will be capable of sustaining millions of mechanical stretch cycles and electrical stimulation pulses in the same way as living tissue.

Implantable electrode systems that are capable of behaving like the body, and neither degrade nor cause scar tissue, have multiple clinical applications in neuroprosthetics and drug delivery. The ultimate goal is to develop a wireless e-dura that could be permanently implanted on the brain to communicate remotely with the outside world.

The ultimate goal is to develop a wireless e-dura implant to communicate remotely with the outside world.

Image credits: EPFL LSBI