Silicon neuromodulating implant has potential to treat Parkinson’s disease

August 10, 2022

1 min read


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A flexible, implantable electronic device may have clinical application in the treatment of spinal cord injuries and Parkinson’s disease, researchers reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuan-Khoa Nguyen, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Griffith University in Australia, and colleagues used silicon carbide technology as a new platform for long-term electronic bio-tissue interfaces.





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“Implantable and flexible devices have enormous potential to treat chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and injuries to the spinal cord,” Nguyen said in a university release. “These devices allow for direct diagnosis of disorders in internal organs and provide suitable therapies and treatments. For instance, such devices can offer electrical stimulations to targeted nerves to regulate abnormal impulses and restore body functions.”

The Griffith University’s Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Center (QMNC) offers resources for the development and characterization of wide band gap materials, a class of semiconductors that have electronic properties between non-conducting materials, such as glass.

Because these implantable devices will require direct contact with biofluids, the development of functional material that can withstand long-term operation was key.

“The system consists of silicon carbide nanomembranes as the contact surface and silicon dioxide as the protective encapsulation, showing unrivaled stability and maintaining its functionality in biofluids,” Nam-Trung Nguyen, PhD, professor and director of QMNC, said in the release. “For the first time, our team has successfully developed a robust implantable electronic system with an expected duration of a few decades.”

Reference:

Ultra-thin but tough implantable material could treat spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/961389. Published Aug. 10, 2022. Accessed Aug. 10, 2022.

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