The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. TBI, in particular, has affected 270,000 military service members since 2000.
The goal of LLNL's work -- driven by LLNL's Neural Technology group and undertaken in collaboration with the
The research is funded by
Specifically, the Neural Technology group will seek to develop a neuromodulation system -- a sophisticated electronics system to modulate neurons -- that will investigate areas of the brain associated with memory to understand how new memories are formed. The device will be developed at
"Currently, there is no effective treatment for memory loss resulting from conditions like TBI," said LLNL's project leader Satinderpall Pannu, director of the
LLNL will develop a miniature, wireless and chronically implantable neural device that will incorporate both single neuron and local field potential recordings into a closed-loop system to implant into TBI patients' brains. The device -- implanted into the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus -- will allow for stimulation and recording from 64 channels located on a pair of high-density electrode arrays. The entorhinal cortex and hippocampus are regions of the brain associated with memory.
The arrays will connect to an implantable electronics package capable of wireless data and power telemetry. An external electronic system worn around the ear will store digital information associated with memory storage and retrieval and provide power telemetry to the implantable package using a custom RF-coil system.
Designed to last throughout the duration of treatment, the device's electrodes will be integrated with electronics using advanced LLNL integration and 3D packaging technologies. The microelectrodes that are the heart of this device are embedded in a biocompatible, flexible polymer.
"The RAM program poses a formidable challenge reaching across multiple disciplines from basic brain research to medicine, computing and engineering," said
LLNL's work on the Restoring Active Memory program supports
"Our years of experience developing implantable microdevices, through projects funded by the
TNS 30FurigayJof-140709-4791032 30FurigayJof
Most Popular Stories
- GE Healthcare Bringing Jobs to Massachusetts
- Faith Groups Divest From Fossil Fuels
- James Foley Beheading Video Is Real Thing: White House
- Apple Stock Bounces Back Big Time
- Entrepreneur Contest Announced in Idaho
- Why BofA Won't Pay $17 Billion After All
- Obama Weighs Move on Legal Immigration
- Notes From the July FOMC Meeting
- Eric Holder Arrives in Ferguson
- Spiders Get Bigger, Reproduce Faster in Cities