Flexible Neural Probe for Magnetic Insertion

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The brain is soft and compliant; a successful probe needs to match the mechanical properties of the brain. Foreign body response is also reduced in objects with small diameters. Small, thin probes lack the mechanical strength needed for implantation. In order to puncture the tissue, they would need to be hard, which is not compatible with the mechanical properties of the brain. In addition, to minimize tissue response, a probe would need to be thin. With conventional materials, this would make the probe brittle and prone to fracture. Probes for neural applications are often limited by their properties; most electrodes are made of hard, stiff materials and are restricted by dimensions for insertion.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a technology to allow for the use of tissue-compliant materials as neural probes. The technology uses insulated wires affixed to a magnetically responsive tip in order to insert a probe into the brain. This tether allows magnetically induced insertion of small thin probes that minimize tissue damage responses and match the mechanical properties of the brain.

Advantages:
-Allows for use of soft, compliant materials that more closely match brain tissue
-Not limited in dimension
-Minimizes tissue damage in deep brain stimulator applications

Potential Applications:
-Medical/Healthcare
-Medical devices
May 27, 2011
NATL-Patent
United States
8,761,898
Jun 24, 2014

Nov 30, 2009
PCT-Patent
WO
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Nov 30, 2009
NATL-Patent
European Patent
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Nov 30, 2008
Provisional-Patent
United States
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Provisional-Patent
United States
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Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
1801 Newman Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486
Email: otcip@prf.org