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Research at Mass General
The Neural Interface Laboratory (NIL) at Massachusetts General Hospital develops novel neural interface technologies for stimulation and recording of both the central and peripheral nervous system. Specifically, innovative micro-coil implants for use in brain-computer interface, deep brain stimulation, retinal implant and cochlear implant. The NIL also investigates microelectrode array designs for high-resolution neural interfaces.
Neuroprosthetic devices are implantable medical devices which help patients recover their senses and motor functions via direct electric stimulation of neural tissues. Despite some initial successes in the auditory prosthesis (i.e., cochlear implants) and the motor rehabilitation (i.e., deep brain stimulation), the effectiveness and the reliability of the neuroprosthetic devices have been limited due to problems arising from the electrical stimulation via metal electrode/tissue interfaces. Magnetic stimulation is known to overcome many of the problems, but it is not known whether stimulation from the coil, small enough to be implanted in the brain, is capable of activating neurons. To address this question, Seungwoo Lee, PhD, and Shelley Fried, PhD, at Mass General have been collaborating on developing a micro-magnetic stimulation technology for neuroprosthetic applications.
Drs. Lee and Fried have demonstrated the effectiveness of magnetic stimulation from the submillimeter sized coil in activating retinal neurons. They have shown that stimulation from the coil can also activate neurons of mouse brains. Through these efforts, they have developed a new cortically implantable micro-coil that is 100 times smaller than the submillimeter sized coil and have demonstrated that the stimulation from the new micro-coils can activate neural circuits of the brains of anesthetized mice in vivo.
Current projects focus on:
Neural Interface Laboratory Massachusetts General Hospital Thier Research Building, Room 41550 Blossom StreetBoston, MA 02114
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