Spatially specific peripheral nerve stimulation with focused ultrasound (Ulimpia-ECTM)
Vagus nerve stimulators currently on the market can treat epilepsy and depression. Recent clinical trials show the potential for vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) to treat epilepsy, autoimmune disease, and traumatic brain injury. As we explore the benefits of VNS, it is expected that more possibilities for a new treatment will emerge in the future. However, existing VNS relies on electrical stimulation, whose limited selectivity (due to its poor spatial resolution) does not allow for any control over which therapeutic effect to induce. We hypothesize that by localizing the stimulation to fascicular level within the vagus nerve with focused ultrasound, it is possible to induce selective therapeutic effects with fewer side effects.
In this project, a curved ultrasound transducer array with capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUT) will be assembled and tested in in-vivo and ex-vivo environments. The stimulation effect of the peripheral nerve will be analyzed through histological analyses.
For more information, see the project homepage.