- Nanoporous electrodes for deep brain stimulation.
Deep brain stimulation is of the most miraculous medical techniques that can treat the most severe neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, and even paralysis, by implanting electrodes in the brain which can stimulate neurons and record their activity. We have performed a first in vivo study using nanoporous tungsten electrodes for recording brain activity over a four month period in healthy rats. Our results show that inducing a nanoporosity decreased the signal degradation over time, most likely due to prevention of glial cell formation. We also perform molecular dynamics simulations to examine the stability of such electrodes.
- Fabricating nanomaterials for use as scaffolds in tissue engineering.
Nanomaterials have numerous applications in biomedical engineering from drug delivery for the treatment of cancer to implants that can heal fracture or stimulate dysfunctional parts of the brain. Our current work focuses on fabricating new nanomaterials and testing them either as electrodes for deep brain stimulation or implants for tissue regeneration. We have performed a first study that shows the promising effect that stimulation of patterned surfaces has in bone regeneration. In our published results of Figure 2 it is seen that stimulation of patterned Si scaffolds significantly enhances osteo-differentiation. In addition to patterning the Si, inducing nanopores on the micropyramids further enhanced differentiation.