Highest resolution brain stimulation electrode for Parkinsons dyskinesia
A research team has developed a technique that deactivates the Ulcerative Colitis Encephalopathy (UC) – a serious and debilitating condition that afflicts 1 in 20 people under the age of 65 in Ireland. This breakthrough offers hope for correcting the development of UC before it causes harm.
Ulcerative colitis encephalopathy (UC) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the brain which can occur when the lymph nodes around the brain become inflamed and attach to the lymphatic system producing an inflammatory and painful infection. This affects around 1 in 20 people and 1 in 100 are children.
UC is often triggered by prolonged standing exercise etc. and as a result a person with UC is limited in their activities and has a poor quality of life. Almost 85 per cent of the UC patients are incurable with around 10 per cent dying. There is no curative treatment or cure.
The UC phenomenon has been studied for many years and understanding the way in which the disease is caused and how certain proteins found on the surfaces of the cells and in the structures that line the spaces called the gut are affected is critical.
The research team of the Department of Materials Science Engineering Design at Trinity College Dublin is the first in Ireland to have identified proteins present on the surface of brain cells and a discovery that can play a significant role in the inability to cure patients.
A cool approach involving touch-triggered electrode technology developed by the team in collaboration with the university has been chosen for reaching the furthest resolution required for deactivating UC.
Ph. D. candidate Coro Hyatt with who he will compete in the Dublin rowing championships and his advisor Dr. Chris Logue from HSEs Childrens Hospital have developed a piece of technology that uses electrodes to transmit pulses of gentle touch to specially designed electrodes something which would have been impossible in the past as it was simply impossible to make a whole electrode used in a cell organoid.
Not only does this research offer a clever solution for the UC but it also highlights the potential of resources that can be utilised to develop much better technologies as these recording electrodes will also hold potential for the development of the next generation.
They have designed a piece of tissue that can be used to map the surface areas of the brain vessels to detect potential infections blocking brain movement and which can also be used to test tumor samples.
Despite the sophistication of current technologies such a system remains very challenging to manufacture.
The team also believes that using cool transmitter technology coupled with an electrode array designed in a way that offers touch-free access to near or at the top of the brain vessels is an attractive option as it will allow for more effective monitoring of neurological functions over the entire course of treatment.
Research fellows Coro Darrin and Katie Hyatt are also involved in this research.