The objective of the present proposal is to develop a new generation of flexible Deep Brain Stimulation and Recording (DBSR) probe that could significantly improve and standardize the deep brain stimulation therapies by offering the possibility of multiple site, three dimensional distributed and adaptive neural stimulation (feedback through simultaneous neural signal recording). Today, there is no available neuro-probe that offers all these functions. Even if significant advances had been made both in silicon and in polymer based probes taking advantage of the high throughput microfabrication techniques offered by the integrated circuit (IC) industry, when it comes to humans, all these devices can be used exclusively for sensing and stimulation of cortex regions, spinal cord and peripheral nerve fibers, leaving available for the DBS applications only the classic micro-wire technology. We propose a manufacture concept based on silicon wafer thinning and bonding on flexible substrates that could remedy this unbalanced situation, by giving to the DBS field access to all the technological advances made in the IC industry. The research will require combined efforts in the fields of microelectronics, polymer material, neurobiology, neurophysiology and neurosurgery to be merged together in order to enable progress beyond the state of the art devices available today. The work will be conducted in the Bio-Electronic Systems group of IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) in close collaboration with the Experimental Neurosurgery and Neuroanatomy Laboratory of the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven (K.U.Leuven). Its successful completion would provide novel scientific and technological concepts for the improvement and standardization of the DBS therapies, with a direct economic outcome: a dramatic decrease of the therapy cost together with a significant increase in accessibility.
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