Since its start in 2013 the NeuroDelta consortium has been dedicated to finding inventive solutions for problems encountered by its neuroscientific, Biomedical and clinical members. Many aspects have been discussed and evaluated for their applicability at bench- or bed-site.
Ultra low power electrical neurostimulation
One of the key examples is the high-frequency stimulation application pioneered by Dr.Ir. Marijn van Dongen and Prof.Dr.Ir. Wouter Serdijn, which allows effective neural stimulation but uses only a fraction of the energy budget. This beautiful piece of bioelectronical engineering has been validated using in vitro electrophysiological recordings by Dr. Freek Hoebeek. Following further validation in vivo we hope to implement this approach in the clinical setting, where the reduced energy consumption could improve battery life of the stimulation devices worn by, for instance, neurological patients. Details of this technique have been published in here.
Closed-loop epileptic seizure detection and brain stimulation
In the lab of Freek Hoebeek PhD-students Oscar Eelkman Rooda and Lieke Kros have developed a successful way of stopping epileptic seizures by electrical and/or optogenetic stimulation. In collaboration with Dr.Ir. Marijn van Dongen en Prof.Dr.Ir. Serdijn a novel real-time algorithm was designed that with a >90% specificity and sensitivity detected generalized epileptic seizures within 0.5 sec. Upon completion we connected this detection system to the optogenetic stimulation and found that indeed this system could now identify seizures and active the neural stimulation autonomously. Details of the closed-loop detection system can be found in here and for details of the anti-epileptic effects of deep brain stimulation please refer to in our recent review paper or this experimental paper.
In close collaboration with NeuroDelta fellows Dr. Else Tolner and Prof. Arn van den Maagdenberg the Hoebeek lab is now optimizing non-responsive neurostimulation paradigms. The ultimate goal is to stop epileptic seizures from occurring without inducing adversive side-effects.
Visualizing axon bundles in very-preterm born children
Unlike most large axonal bundles in the human brain the connections to and from the small brain (cerebellum) have only recently been reliably visualized in human using diffusion MRI techniques. By optimizing the scanning sequences MSc. Kay Pieterman and Dr. Jeroen Dudink in collaboration with Prof. Serena Counsell (King's college London), Prof. Manon Benders (UMC Utrecht) and Dr. Freek Hoebeek were able to visualize the cerebello-thalamo-cortical and the cortico-pontine-cerebellar tracts in pre-term born children. These tracts show a steady increase in integrity over the last trimester of the gestational period, as can be seen in our recent feasibility study.