3D illustration of brain nervous system

Science Café Cleveland: “Treating Chronic Conditions with a ‘KISS’”

KISS—“Keep It Simple, Stupid!”—is a common acronym used in engineering (and elsewhere) to instruct the designer to design simple systems. The main reason: Complex systems are more prone to failure.

Implanted devices in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system have many exciting applications for treating chronic clinical conditions (e.g. chronic pain, Parkinson’s tremor, epilepsy, spinal cord injury and others). These devices electrically stimulate or record neural activity. A significant amount of funding from public and private entities is being invested to discover and further develop devices for a wide range of clinical applications. These applications have been classified as “neuromodulation,” “electroceuticals,” or “bioelectronics.” While non-invasive solutions exist, implanted neural interface devices remain the gold standard for engaging with the nervous system tissues due to their reliability and target-engagement specificity. However, the surgery to implant devices may limit the wide-spread adoption of neural interface technology by patients due to the real—or even just perceived—risks of the invasive surgery.  

In this month’s Science Café Cleveland event, Andrew Shoffstall, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at CWRU, will discuss the recent progress on a number of approaches to achieve a minimally invasive neural interface (coined: the Injectrode®). Shoffstall will present several iterations of the device concept, design and prototypes, which have been progressively simplified to remove unnecessary complexity from the system. 

This discussion, titled “Treating Chronic Conditions with a ‘KISS,’” will be held Monday, June 14, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Visit the Facebook event page to get the Zoom details.