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Researchers from UT-Arlington and Northwestern collaborate on bioresorbable brain monitoring device

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 14th, 2018

Researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and Northwestern University are developing an implantable optical brain probe that can be absorbed by the body after its use.

The device is inserted in the brain to monitor activity after traumatic injuries or surgeries. Because it is bioresorbable, the technology could increase patient comfort during recovery and reduce the risks of complications from the surgical removal of current brain monitoring devices, which are rigid, bulky and can cause interference with other devices.

UTA researcher Weidong Zhou recently secured a $200,000 Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) grant from the National Science Foundation to apply his fundamental research with John Rogers, a leader in bioresorbable electronics at Northwestern University.

“We began exploring how to integrate optical waveguides and nanophotonic cavities for bio-implantable optical probes to make them more comfortable and introduce the ability to have the body absorb the devices completely,” says Zhou. “With this grant, we can explore making the device commercially available, as well as identify other areas in which it could be used, such as understanding brain activity and functions through monitoring.”

Jonathan Bredow, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering at UTA, comments, “Dr. Zhou has long been interested in applications of photonic sensing, and his collaboration with Dr. Rogers, one of the pre-eminent minds in the field of bioresorbable electronics, has already led to some amazing discoveries. This NSF PFI grant is an important step in commercializing their work to benefit patients who have suffered brain trauma.”

Source: EurekAlert!

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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