Research Activities

Project teams in the Neural Engineering Lab are focused on these topics.

Voltammetric biomarker identification

The neurobiology of processes that occur in the brain and associated neurological diseases is highly complex. Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are instrumental in the healthy functioning of the human brain. To measure these neurotransmitters accurately and safely, the Neural Engineering Laboratories have been involved in developing both cutting-edge measuring techniques and hardware such as the Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration Sensing System (WINCS) that enable both research development in preclinical studies and human recordings.

Human studies

The Neural Engineering Laboratory's human studies team seeks to improve the efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) by studying the role of stimulation-induced neurochemical changes in patients with movement disorders or psychiatric conditions. The team conducts acute neurochemical recordings in patients undergoing DBS lead implantation using WINCS and Harmoni devices developed in the Neural Engineering Laboratory.

The lab also has a strong interest in the improvement of stereotactic techniques. A novel head frame for deep brain stimulation surgery and a new localizer for 7-Tesla MRI scan were developed for this purpose. Our team believes these will greatly facilitate more accurate placement of electrodes and hence better patient care.