Drs. Hess-Dunning and Capadona Receive VA Merit Review Funding

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Improving the reliability of brain implants by treating the inflammatory response

Dr. Allison Dunning

Congratulations to Allison Hess-Dunning, PhD and Jeffrey Capadona, PhD who have received a VA Rehabilitation Research & Development (RR&D) Merit Review titled Hybrid Drug-Eluting Microfluidic Neural Probe for Chronic Drug Infusion. Starting in April, this 4-year, $1.09M project will address the limited duration that intracortical brain-machine interfaces (BMI) can record functional signals. The team has developed a Microfluidic/Eluting Neural Drug Delivery System (MENDDS) that integrates microfluidic channels within a permeable polymer nanocomposite to deliver a sustained, localized flow of antioxidant (resveratrol) to reduce inflammation. 

Dr. Jeffrey Capadona

High-resolution brain-machine interfaces with intracortical electrodes can be used to control computer cursors, robotic arms, or one’s own natural limbs through detection of one’s own thoughts. Unfortunately, the lack of reliability of recordings has prevented this technology from being readily available to our Veterans. Technologies developed through this research program will improve the reliability and safety of neural implants, such as deep brain stimulation devices and neural interfaces for sensory restoration.