Soft Bio-interfaces for Physiological Sensing and Modulation

Funding Agency: DoD (Qualia SBIR subcontract)
Dates: 2017-2019
Principal investigators: Connie Manz (Qualia) and Bryan Black (UT Dallas)
Case Western Reserve University: Jeffrey C. Capadona

The Effect of the Elimination of Micromotion and Tissue Strain on Intracortical Device Performance

Funding Agency: DoD – Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program
Dates: 2015-2018
UTD Faculty: Joseph J Pancrazio, Walter E. Voit
Case Western Reserve University: Jeffrey C. Capadona

Intracortical probes will be fabricated from these new materials which have the capacity to dynamically change their stiffness based on their surrounding environment. These novel shape memory polymer-based probes are initially stiff to permit insertion into the brain, then, in the presence of physiological body temperatures, the devices can soften to levels approaching the stiffness of the surrounding brain tissue. Importantly, we can tune the degree of stiffness such that we can definitively address a fundamental question which limits progress in the field: Does probe softening improve the surrounding tissue response and recording performance of the device?