Engineering | School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Safety first: A human-centered approach to brain implant design

Safety first: A human-centered approach to brain implant design

The complex network of signals in the human brain make us capable of amazing athletic feats and innovative ideas, but they can also cause debilitating problems such as seizures that make everyday tasks difficult. Advances in brain implant technology can help us better understand and monitor the brain’s signals and give hope to a better future for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Junseok Chae wants to use his expert knowledge of microdevices to help people with neurological disorders through wireless, passive neural recorders — safety minded brain implants. He believes current wired, battery-powered or energy harvesting implant technologies don’t meet the threshold of safety that patients deserve — and that he has a solution.

The Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering electrical engineering professor and associate dean for research is working to design and test a new kind of brain implant with researchers at Ohio State University and Florida International University that he hopes could one day help people who have neurological disorders such as seizures related to Parkinson’s disease. Chae is leading the effort to build the implant prototype while his research partners test its accuracy and effectiveness in measuring brain signals.

This interdisciplinary team — whose expertise covers electrical engineering as well as signal processing and social and behavioral science — behind the project, “Fully passive and wireless multichannel neural recording for chronic in-vivo studies in animals” recently earned their latest three-year, nearly $850,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

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January 12, 2018