INESC MN 2021 Seminar Series - Dr. Tiago Costa, March 5, 16.00 PM

Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death, worldwide. Still, a paradigm exists in the available therapies: while pharmaceutical drugs are non-invasive but have poor precision and low effectiveness in the long term, therapies based on implantable electrical stimulators have high precision but are also highly invasive, which reduces patient eligibility. For the first time, a minimally invasive and precise neuromodulation modality is emerging through low intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU). However, the hand-held form-factors of existing ultrasound technology, together with its spatial resolution still being 10x lower than implantable electrodes, are hampering advances in both fundamental neuroscience research and the translation to the clinic. In this talk, I will describe my research on stand-alone ultrasonic microchips, by exploring the co-design and integration of CMOS circuits and piezoelectric materials. With massive miniaturization, focused ultrasound can be delivered through more efficient methods (wearable, injectable) while supporting higher ultrasound frequencies towards higher spatial resolution. These advances will contribute to a new generation of ultrasound technology to bring LIFU neuromodulation to the forefront of neuroscience and neurology.

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