FEIT Research Project Database

Novel neural stimulation technologies

Project Leader: Sam John
Staff: David Grayden
Primary Contact: Sam John (sam.john@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: neural engineering; neuroengineering
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering
Research Centre: Neuroengineering Research Laboratory

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is used in the treatment of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. While this is promising, traditional DBS is may not be readily accessible to all people with EDs. This is because DBS has two major drawbacks:

  1. The need for brain surgery
  2. The inefficiency of the present method of stimulating the brain.

DBS uses metal electrodes implanted deep into the brain through holes in the skull to electrically stimulate brain tissue. Electric stimulation used in DBS requires precise electrode placement; as little as 2 mm misplacement of the electrodes reduces the therapeutic effect, introduces side-effects and sometimes requires further brain surgery. These drawbacks increase the risk and reduce the benefit of the surgery. Therefore only severe cases neurological diseases may eventually be able to access this therapy. This project will create novel neurotechnology to improve the quality of lives of millions of people suffering from neurological impairments. 

Further information: https://biomedical.eng.unimelb.edu.au/john-neurobionics/research