Rice Biotech Launch Pad Startup Motif Neurotech Announces Peer-Reviewed Publication On Wireless Cortical Stimulator For Precise Neuromodulation

(MENAFN- PR Newswire) Miniature, wireless and battery-free bioelectronic stimulator with potential application in psychiatric disorders

HOUSTON, April 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Rice University today announced that Jacob Robinson, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering and founder and chief executive officer of Motif Neurotech , a neurotechnology company developing minimally invasive bioelectronics for mental health formed through the
Rice Biotech Launch Pad , published a peer-reviewed study in Science Advances detailing a novel and wireless device - an epidural cortical stimulator known as the Digitally programmable Over-brain Therapeutic (DOT), that is capable of receiving enough energy to stimulate human and large-animal brain activity and can deliver bursts of electrical stimulation to the brain through the dura, the tough membrane that covers the brain and the spinal cord. The manuscript entitled "Miniature battery-free epidural cortical stimulators " can be viewed on the Science Advances website.

"Neuromodulation is a promising technique to treat various neurological disorders, such as depression, by altering the activity of specific brain regions or circuits," said Jacob Robinson. "However, current neuromodulation devices are either bulky, invasive, or limited in their stimulation capabilities. Our device is only 9 mm in width and can safely receive enough wireless power using magnetoelectric antennas to deliver 14.5 V stimulation bursts, which enables it to stimulate cortical activity on-demand. It overcomes challenges by using a battery-free and wireless approach
to create an implant that can deliver precise and programmable stimulation to the brain, without brain surgery."

The study details how the DOT stimulator works by using magnetoelectric antennas that can convert magnetic fields into electric fields and vice versa. The device receives wireless power from an external transmitter that generates a magnetic field, which is then converted into an electric field by the antennas. The electric field is then used to stimulate the brain through the dura, without penetrating the brain tissue. The device can be programmed to deliver different patterns and intensities of stimulation, depending on the desired therapeutic effect. The device also has a large alignment tolerance, meaning that it can receive power even if it is not perfectly aligned with the transmitter.

The DOT stimulator was tested in a human patient and a porcine model, showing that it can reliably and safely stimulate the motor cortex, the brain region that controls voluntary movements. The device induced motor responses in the patients and the pigs, such as hand or leg movements, without causing any adverse effects. The device also showed stable performance for 30 days in the porcine model, demonstrating its potential for long-term operation.

One of the potential applications of the DOT stimulator is to provide neuromodulation for psychiatric conditions such as treatment-resistant depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. These conditions are currently treated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive technique that uses pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. However, TMS requires repeated visits to a clinic and delivers high-intensity stimulation that may cause discomfort. The DOT stimulator can also mimic the specific timing patterns of TMS, such as the intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) paradigm, which has been shown to be effective in modulating brain activity and improving mood.

To test the safety and feasibility of the DOT stimulator for neuromodulation, the researchers performed a series of experiments in a porcine model and found no significant difference in the pathology or inflammation between the stimulated and sham sites, suggesting that the DOT stimulation did not cause any damage or adverse effects to the brain or dura. Moreover, they confirmed that the DOT stimulator could still elicit motor responses in the animals, even in the presence of a mild foreign body reaction, indicating that the device could provide effective neuromodulation despite possible variability in the biocompatibility.

About the Rice Biotech Launch Pad
The Rice Biotech Launch Pad is a Houston-based accelerator focused on expediting the translation of the university's health and medical technology discoveries into cures. This initiative is designed to help advance internally discovered platform technologies from concept to clinical studies and commercialization. The Rice Biotech Launch Pad will identify and support highly differentiated projects while driving the expansion of Houston as a world-class medical innovation ecosystem. The accelerator will bring together local researchers with a network of industry executives. For more information, please visit .

About Motif Neurotech
Motif Neurotech
is pioneering wireless minimally-invasive neuromodulation therapeutics for mental health. The company's lead product is a miniature implant in development for treatment resistant depression. Motif's implant is enabled by wireless magnetoelectric power transfer technology developed at
Rice University
and founded by
Jacob Robinson
Kaiyuan Yang
and physicians
Sunil Sheth
Sameer Sheth. For more information visit
Follow us on
@motifneuro .

Media Contacts:

Chris Stipes
[email protected]
Silvia Cernea Clark
[email protected]

SOURCE Rice University


PR Newswire

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.