Technical and Scientific Challenges for Designing Bi-directional Bioelectrical Interfaces that Aim to Treat Neurological Disorders

Friday, April 1, 2016 - 1:25pm - 2:25pm
Lind 305
Tim Denison (Medtronic)
The burden of neurological disease has significant economic and societal impact. While promising in-roads for treatment have been made for some conditions, the general application of medical technology to address disorders can be limited by the lack of understanding of pathophysiology, and the response of a diseased neural circuit to existing and potential treatments. To address this issue, teams are creating investigational research tools that can be chronically implanted to study the nervous system. These tools permit the active probing of diseased circuits with novel instrumentation, enabled by a system architecture that leverages existing neurostimulators as a “scientific payload” to provide a chronic conduit to the nervous system. Deployed with clinician-researchers, these instrumentation toolkits are being used to explore therapeutic concepts from a systems engineering and dynamic systems perspective. The goal of leveraging scientific payloads is to enable translational research merging engineering design methods with basic neuroscience to help catalyze the next generation of neurological therapies. This talk will provide a technical perspective on the state-of-the-art for this work, some promising areas for further exploration, and the significant challenges that remain.

About the presenter: Tim Denison is a Technical Fellow and Sr. Director of Core Technology in Neuromodulation at Medtronic PLC, the world’s largest medical device manufacturer. In that role, Tim helps oversee the design of next generation circuit, materials and algorithm technologies for the treatment of chronic neurological disease. In 2012, he was awarded membership to the Bakken Society, Medtronic’s highest technical and scientific honor. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers. Tim received an A.B. in Physics from The University of Chicago, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT. Tim serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions of Biomedical Circuits and Systems, the Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neural Engineering.