Monday, October 25, 2010

US Patent 7818065 - Conducting polymer nanowire brain-machine interface

Over the last several years there have been a variety of implementations of brain-computer interfaces. One problem with such devices is that most electrode materials are not biocompatible and over time the detectable signal strength weakens. This patent is based on a collaboration between New York University and M.I.T. and teaches a way to use polymer nanowires to achieve a more biocompatible solution. Claim 1 reads:

1. A system for transmitting electrical signals to a biological target using vascular-based probes, said system comprising:

a plurality of conducting polymer nanowires, each nanowire having a distal end and a proximal end, and an associated probe portion located at the distal end of each nanowire;

the plurality of conducting polymer nanowires being introduced directly into a vascular territory to which signals are transmitted;

wherein the distal end of at least one of the plurality of conducting polymer nanowires is selectively deflectable, thereby allowing at least one of controlled directing of electrical current to a particular area for stimulation and controlled guiding of the polymer nanowires introduced directly into and within the vascular area; and

an electronic interface circuit in electrical communication with the plurality of conducting polymer nanowires, said electronic interface circuit comprising an interface module for interfacing the conducting polymer nanowires with a microwire located in the vicinity of the proximal ends of the conducting polymer nanowires.

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